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Pennsylvania State Trooper Michael Keyes can carry a firearm while on duty but when he clocks out, he must surrender his firearm(s) or be in violation of federal law. How is this possible?


Seven years ago the good Trooper tried repeatedly to kill himself by overdosing with drugs. Eventually he was involuntarily committed to a mental health institution for treatment. This all happened in 2006 while he was employed by the Pennsylvania State Police.


He remained in treatment for a year and upon completion he began to fight for his job back, according to The Patriot-News. The State Police fought against his reinstatement however an arbitrator disagreed and ordered his return to duty. A Commonwealth Court upheld that decision. The State Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the lower courts ruling and he was placed back on duty in 2010. In addition to being given his old job back, the Commonwealth Court also saw fit to award him nearly $16,000 in back pay.


In 2008 Keyes began his battle to have his rights reinstated so he could legally own and carry firearms while off duty. Federal gun control laws prohibit any person who has been subject to involuntary mental health commitments from possessing firearms. The fact of the matter is, you don’t need to be committed to a mental health facility to lose your rights. If you are adjudged mentally defective by the state, you can kiss your 2nd Amendment rights good-bye for life.


On December 24th, a Commonwealth Superior Court ruled that Keyes would not have his right to own firearms reinstated and that this was not a violation of his 2nd Amendment rights. The judge found that banning the mentally defective from possessing firearms only applies to an “extremely small” class of citizens and has a solid public safety basis.


Surprisingly, the judge also found that Keyes could remain employed as a State Trooper and carry a firearm while acting in such a capacity because he would be under the supervision and observation of superior officers and his fellow Troopers. The judge went on to say, “Were Keyes to again fall into a depressive state with suicidal ideation, it would be much more likely to be discovered while he is on duty and his supervisors could then restrict his access to state police firearms”.


Seriously? The court found that officer Keyes isn’t to be trusted with a gun because he’s mentally unstable, but it’s ok for him to be in possession of a state issued firearm as long as he’s wearing a uniform and policing others. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Read more: State Trooper can carry a gun, just not off duty | The Bang Switch
 

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So stupid. Either give the man his rights back or declare him unfit for duty. I'm speachless. Took me 5 minuets type this 'cause I don't even know where to begin!
 
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That's one of the most convoluted decisions I've ever heard of. Talk about twisted reasoning and faulty logic.
 

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I get it..The root issue is he got his job back...

The problem is the state is in a sticky situation.A cop on the job needs a way to protect himself and it sounds like he is always under supervision.....

The scratch my head moment for me is do they really need to have him out on the streets? Give him a desk job.......

Also, someone who was in that type of mental situation typically will have a relapse at some point (not everyone but a good bet) so I agree he should not have a weapon when off the job unsupervised.
 

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It is all about liability. If I would not trust a person with his firearm off-duty, then why in the world would I want him to carry on duty? Either he is 100% unfit or ok to do the job.
 

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It looks like the state of PA is trying to cut the baby in two. Or have it's cake and eat it, too.

Pithy analogies aside, the state is in a quandary. If PA sided with the State Troopers and didn't re-instate him, it would have left itself open to a lawsuit suit of some sort (I'm thinking wrongful termination or Americans with Disabilities Act. Others with a more in-depth knowledge of the law, please feel free to opine.) But if it re-instated him with full constitutional rights, it ran the risk of endangering the public while the trooper was off-duty and went off the rails again. It's a half measure that pleases neither side. While I agree that this Trooper should not be in uniform, I also think that under the circumstances this was the best decision PA could make. As others have said, there are admin/clerical jobs within the organization that he could fill which would not require him to carry a sidearm.
 

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Sounds like a desk job would be a better solution.

I get it..The root issue is he got his job back...

The problem is the state is in a sticky situation.A cop on the job needs a way to protect himself and it sounds like he is always under supervision.....

The scratch my head moment for me is do they really need to have him out on the streets? Give him a desk job.......

Also, someone who was in that type of mental situation typically will have a relapse at some point (not everyone but a good bet) so I agree he should not have a weapon when off the job unsupervised.
 

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This is a clear case of liberal thinking Justices out smarting themselves. The Trooper is either responsible and rational enough to properly use and possess a firearm or not. These Justices like to spin the facts to conform to their personal egocentrically biased viewpoints that have no basis in reality.
 

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Americans with disabilities act only requires that reasonable accomodations be made for his disability. If he can't carry a gun, reassign him to a non armed position. Easy.

Instead they endanger the public, and him. Morons.
 

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My Chief brought up a similar question when he was an officer running for dept. head. He had to take a psych for initial employment as an officer and then another when going through the stages of promotion to Chief. We were wondering if he bombed his psych if he would be allowed to return as an officer. Obviously he passed the psych but we thought it was an interesting scenario.

The situation with this officer occurred in 2006 and he was back on the job in 2010. I don't know about you guys but 4 years is a chunk of time. It is possible that he was going through a rough patch and had a very very bad day. In any case, the decision needs to be 100% one way or the other. He is either a full fledged cop who can carry on and off duty, or he is not mentally fit to hold the position and carry a gun.
 

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I don't like talking bad about anyone, especially those in law enforcement, but it
surprises me that he still has his job with his history of suicide attempts.
That is not the type of person I would want around firearms nor possibly in the position
of having other people's lives in his hands.
 

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So in short - State Troopers are now responsible for watching another State Trooper so he don't commit suicide - while armed, while on duty - while the post suicidal State Trooper has the authority to use deadly force on others, but himself. All this from 9-5. However, the said State Trooper is allowed to commit suicide in any other manner he so chooses, while not at work and not with a firearm.

So to be clear, the Judge does not want the State Trooper to commit suicide whilst on the job AND with a state issued firearm.

Is this a judge Wapner decision?

-TH
 

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My Chief brought up a similar question when he was an officer running for dept. head. He had to take a psych for initial employment as an officer and then another when going through the stages of promotion to Chief. We were wondering if he bombed his psych if he would be allowed to return as an officer. Obviously he passed the psych but we thought it was an interesting scenario.

The situation with this officer occurred in 2006 and he was back on the job in 2010. I don't know about you guys but 4 years is a chunk of time. It is possible that he was going through a rough patch and had a very very bad day. In any case, the decision needs to be 100% one way or the other. He is either a full fledged cop who can carry on and off duty, or he is not mentally fit to hold the position and carry a gun.
I agree, a person is mentally fit to use and carry a gun or is not. The logic of the Judge is asinine. To assume that the guy would be supervised 100% of the time while on duty is foolish. Also, to assume that another officer would be able to disarm the officer if he cracked is ridiculous.
 

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It looks like the state of PA is trying to cut the baby in two. Or have it's cake and eat it, too.

Pithy analogies aside, the state is in a quandary. If PA sided with the State Troopers and didn't re-instate him, it would have left itself open to a lawsuit suit of some sort (I'm thinking wrongful termination or Americans with Disabilities Act. Others with a more in-depth knowledge of the law, please feel free to opine.) But if it re-instated him with full constitutional rights, it ran the risk of endangering the public while the trooper was off-duty and went off the rails again. It's a half measure that pleases neither side. While I agree that this Trooper should not be in uniform, I also think that under the circumstances this was the best decision PA could make. As others have said, there are admin/clerical jobs within the organization that he could fill which would not require him to carry a sidearm.
I agree with most of what you wrote.

However, I say the state is wacko! Give him his job back but assign him duty that guarantees he will never, ever touch a firearm in an official capacity.
 

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Note to self: you can only be an armed, semi-suicidal, authority figure if you do it for one of the cash flow positive parts of the government.
 

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Ladies and gentlemen.....we have just lost cabinn pressure. How.....in the world.....is this possible? If this guy tried enlisting, the recruiter would tell him to wait outside and then lock the door behind him. But, the state of Pa is expecting his co-workers to babysit him?! Who the hell would want to work with him? I'm sure he's all better now, :roll: but, I wouldn't want him at my six.
 

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That is the biggest crock of shi# that I have ever heard. I'm telling you that our country is heading down a path to no return. He is an officer and can carry on duty but can't protect himself while off! I truly feel bad for the guy.
 

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Ladies and gentlemen.....we have just lost cabinn pressure. How.....in the world.....is this possible? If this guy tried enlisting, the recruiter would tell him to wait outside and then lock the door behind him. But, the state of Pa is expecting his co-workers to babysit him?! Who the hell would want to work with him? I'm sure he's all better now, :roll: but, I wouldn't want him at my six.
The State of PA was told what to do by the courts...... It is the unions and the courts you should be pissed at, or better yet the dimwitted people who elected them.
 
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