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Old August 30, 2012, 12:03 PM   #1
ESB
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PA PICS denial

Hello all,

In February 2012 I purchased a pistol from the LGS, PICS approval number in less then 10 minutes, got the pistol and was good to go.

The pistol I originally purchased was defective after 4 months, sent back to manufacture, it could not be repaired so a replacement was shipped.

I went to pick up the replacement last night and the PICS system denied me the right to pick up my replacement pistol. The LGS manager questioned the operator (he was the same person that sold me the original pistol) stating that I was ok'd for it back in February and gave the operator the approval number (I keep that paperwork in my range bag).

Not one thing has changed since February, no police stops, no arrests/detainments, no charges filed or dropped, absolutely nothing at all happened since February, not even any traffic stops, NOTHING has changed at all in the time that's gone by. I did a docket search using the link below, I checked the magisterial courts as well as the Philadelphia courts and no records were found with my name and birthday under any of the search criteria. I omitted my birthday and ran the search again, 3 people with the same name as me popped up, each with a different middle initial, each with different birthdays and each had criminal records....BUT, none of them were me.

http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/

Needless to say, I'm worried, concerned, scared and a little angry at the situation.

The shop manager told me this happens quite frequently with the PICS system. A couple of the employees that work for the shop were denied trying to purchase after numerous successful purchases. The application is in "research" right now and I'm to wait a maximum of 15 days for a determination. I'm aware that if it comes back denied I can challenge it, but that's after the waiting period. What really bothers me is, if it comes back denied after an appeal, will I be totally SOL in terms of recovering the money I spent on the original pistol? Technically the replacement pistol is mine but I'm not allowed to have it, so if I'm not allowed to have it, does that mean I'm not allowed to sell it to the shop?

In the mean time, is there anything I can do to find out what is going on? Why I was approved in February and 6 months later I'm denied after having done nothing?

Any suggestions on how to go about this would be greatly appreciated!!!

ESB

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; August 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Language
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Old August 30, 2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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Not everyone likes to do it, but giving them your SSN seems to avoid a lot of these mishaps.
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Old August 30, 2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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I did provide my SSN, I didn't want to but for the sake of making sure they had the right person, I wrote it in. I did it on the last application too.
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Old August 30, 2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Wow, then that's pretty annoying.

Hope it gets straightened out.
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Old August 30, 2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Me too. This is majorly upsetting, first the pistol I bought breaks and now I can't get the replacement. Very frustrating to say the least!!!
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Old August 30, 2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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That's nuts....I got delayed the first couple of times by NICS. Understandable, as I was not always as well behaved as I am now. But annoying nonetheless.
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Old August 30, 2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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We all do dumb stuff when we're younger, that's part of growing up. The only thing on my record, if it even applies, would be an underage drinking charge but that case was thrown out.

If you want to talk about nuts, I've got all 6 dockets from this other person with the same name (as me) open; 5 of the 6 are in the same township (western PA, I guess), 2 of the 6 has a different DOB and the guy happens to have the SAME color eyes as me. Really weird!!! The only two things different are the decade he was born and hair color; I was born in the early 70s and this dude has DOBs of 83, 85 and 89 (4 of the six are 89). Yeah, I'm studying the hell out of them, this really bothers me; from looking at the charges, I don't want to be confused with this guy!!!

Oh well, I just have to wait and see if it get sorted out. It was such a bummer seeing the new pistol and not being able to try it or bring it home, that really harshed my mellow...lol.

Thanks for the replies!

Last edited by ESB; August 30, 2012 at 02:42 PM.
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Old August 30, 2012, 04:08 PM   #8
Red Dog
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Just a question here....
(Assuming that you don't)
If you had a CHL would you still have this issue?
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:08 PM   #9
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I'm not so sure a CHL (or LTCF/CCW in PA) would make any difference in this particular situation. They use the same PICS system to run the background checks on those too. Plus, living in Philly, I hear they're very hard to get. I suppose having one for future purchases might help, but, if guys working at the LGS (they all carry) are getting denials that doesn't offer too much in the way of hope.
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Old August 30, 2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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Call the dealer and get your NTN (NICS Transaction Number). Follow the instructions here to get any confusion cleared up.

Sounds like there's something in the database that's wrong.
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Sounds like there's something in the database that's wrong.
You got that right!!! I haven't been denied, just in "research". It was actually kind of confusing; denied, approved, sent to research is what I took away from the experience. Sounded like the person on the other end of the line didn't have a clue to be perfectly honest.

Thanks for the appeal link, hopefully I won't need it, but I have no faith in the system and probably will, I'll definitely keep the link handy!

BTW, AWESOME screen name; MST3K rules!!!
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
BTW, AWESOME screen name; MST3K rules!!!
I forsee a bright future for you here.

I must admit to having skimmed too quickly, and I was under the impression you were denied by the federal NICS system. The Pennsylvania system does seem a bit more arbitrary.
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
I forsee a bright future for you here.
NICE!!! Not to go off topic, but Thanksgiving "Turkey Day Marathon" of MST3K was the best, 24 straight hours of them roasting cheesy movies; what more could you ask for...lol! I'm now all of the sudden in the mood to watch an episode; "Santa Vs. The Martians" on DVD...hahaha.

Yes, it's a redundant system, PICS does cross reference NICS. And PICS crashes or is taken offline a lot from what I've been reading about it (it was taken off line in May and I believe it was offline just a few weeks ago, 8/19 to be exact if I read the article right). I was told by the dealer to wait until Tuesday to give them a call, this way 3 business days have gone by; he expects to hear something by tomorrow. Guess I'll see what happens tomorrow, if the dealer calls I'll know one way or the other for sure, if not, I'll have to pester them on Tuesday.
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Old August 31, 2012, 12:01 AM   #14
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"Santa Vs. The Martians" on DVD
Ah! A classic. Your next homework assignment is to watch the Coleman Francis trilogy. Or is that punishment? I get the two confused.

What strikes me as odd, and possibly fertile ground for future litigation, is that the PICS system places a heavier burden than the federal NICS system.

Under the NICS system, a transaction that's delayed may only be held for three business days before the dealer is allowed to release the firearm. The whole idea is that they can't leave you hanging for an unreasonable amount of time.
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Old August 31, 2012, 01:40 AM   #15
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punishment?
Mystery Science Theatre as punishment? For those of us that get it (you know who you are) it's an honor & privilege, and don't tell me you didn't join in with the three clowns; Tom Servo, Crowe and Joel/Mike (Joel was better then Mike IMHO, both were funny though). Pure celluloid GOLD that show was, thank goodness they're available on DVD.

Sorry for getting off topic everyone, we're human behind these computer screens. It doesn't have to be all business, does it?

Meanwhile, back in PA...

Quote:
FOAC claims the most worrisome aspect of this system is the position taken by the state police that ‘if’ the system becomes inoperable, then firearms transfers cease. This means the Second Amendment could effectively cease to exist in the event of mechanical or electronic failure.

Critics maintain the PICS system is slow, costly, inefficient and redundant. The PICS system is notorious for weekend slowdowns in operation; this becomes especially troublesome for citizens and gun dealers during the holidays or gun show weekends.

By comparison, critics maintain the National Instant Check System Challenge procedure is well defined and straightforward.

PICS errors are distressingly common; these errors arise from a variety of sources. Two names can be identical, social security numbers (which PICS continues to use despite a federal court order) can be transposed, very old court records can be wrong, or the sentence for a crime that was not punishable by more than a year in jail when it was committed can be later amended. These problems mean someone who is legally permitted to own a firearm are being denied that right, and appeals are difficult under the best of circumstances.

If a court record or FBI report is incomplete or ambiguous, authorities in Pennsylvania will presume the worst, and leave it to the individual to prove otherwise. I have had constituents personally describe not knowing why a denial was issued until their appeal hearing began, which makes preparation difficult if not impossible. Even a simple technical error cannot be properly disputed if the person appealing doesn’t have enough advance notice to obtain the correct information. This is inefficient at best, arguably a potential violation of due process at worst.
That's the gist of the PICS system. If you want to read the full article, I put the link below. Seemingly, there are those trying to get rid of it. Funny, this article was written 12 days after I purchased back in February (the one that worked).

http://canon-mcmillan.patch.com/arti...tem-yay-or-nay
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Old September 4, 2012, 06:55 PM   #16
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ESB:

It appears that you have run into The Coal and Iron Cops, aka The Pennsylvania State Police, at their finest level of incompetence.


By the way, I cannot see why you gave them your Social Security Number, federal courts having told them several years ago, that their demands therefore were a violation of federal law.

References to the Social Security Number, in-so-far as I understand were removed from the PSP/State forms, and notices had been posted in gun stores about the Social Security Number requirement haveing been done away with.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:35 PM   #17
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Finally, it was approved. I got a call this afternoon and already picked up and put nearly 200 rounds through it.


Quote:
By the way, I cannot see why you gave them your Social Security Number, federal courts having told them several years ago, that their demands therefore were a violation of federal law.
Alan,

It did state that the SSN was optional and the dealer explained it simply enough. If I provide it, it helps identify me quicker and more accurately. Having nothing to hide, I filled it in. I can see from your reaction, this is something I shouldn't have done? What are the downfalls of providing an SSN on an application form? This is only the 2nd time I've gone through the process (un-wantingly I might add) so it's all new to me. Aside from the state and local laws for PA with regard to firearm ownership and carry, I know those, but, I don't know enough to know what providing an SSN could be used for other then IDing me.

Anyway, I got the pistol, fired it and loved it....now it's time for it's first cleaning.

Thanks for all the posts everyone, I'm glad for the advice and even more so that the problem got corrected.

ESB
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:21 AM   #18
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Most people object to giving the SSN because you're also giving it to your LGS salesman. We'd like to believe they are all upstanding people, but that isn't always the case.
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