As reported, Meleanie Hain is suing Lebanon, PA County Sheriff Michael DeLeo for wrongfully revoking her concealed carry permit. Sheriff DeLeo revoked Meleanie Hain’s concealed carry permit after some hoplophobic people complained when she peacefully and lawfully openly carried a holstered handgun to her daughter’s soccer game. A judge reinstated her concealed carry permit last month, however Meleanie Hain, her husband, and her daughter have all suffered due to the Sheriff’s actions. Their losses include attorney fees, loss of income, and the emotional distress that resulted from the humiliation of having the concealed carry permit wrongfully revoked.
Meleanie Hain didn’t draw her pistol, threaten anyone, or otherwise do anything unreasonable or unlawful. Instead, she carried her handgun in a holster, as the law in her state allows, so that she would be ready should the need for self defense arise. Meleanie Hain’s willingness to be ready to defend herself and her child is to be commended, given the fact that criminals commit random and violent crimes every day. Just because some other people at the soccer game had an irrational fear of guns did not justify stripping Mrs. Hain of her rights. But instead, Sheriff DeLeo determined that Mrs. Hain’s “character and reputation” made her a danger to public safety, and revoked her concealed carry permit without conducting a hearing or otherwise giving her a chance to speak for herself. In my humble opinion, that was wrong, both legally and morally. The legal wrong that I see is the arbitrary exercise of governmental power to deprive a citizen of a right without cause, and the malicious use of a sheriff’s powers against a citizen who has broken now law. The moral wrong that I see is the taking away of self defense abilities from a mother, putting her and her family’s safety at greater risk from criminals.
I wish the Hains the best of luck in their lawsuit, and hope that a large monetary judgement in their favor helps to both compensate them for the harm they have suffered, and to serve as a message that anti gun politicians cannot abuse governmental authority to disarm law abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong. I also hope that the Hains’ request that Sheriff DeLeo be ordered to undego law enforcement education is also granted, as Sheriff DeLeo seems to be in great need of such education.
A tip of my hat to Anders who pointed out this lawsuit.