Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Mensch Convicted

A Berks County judge says a Pennsylvania state senator who allegedly displayed a handgun while driving on Interstate 78 is guilty of a summary charge of disorderly conduct.

District Andrea Book convicted Sen. Bob Mensch after a hearing that lasted more than two hours.

Mensch faces a maximum $300 fine and 90 days in jail, but the prosecutor says he will not recommend jail time.

Mensch, a Montgomery County Republican, denied displaying any weapon even though state troopers who stopped him after the March 9 incident found two handguns in his vehicle. Mensch, who has a permit to carry the weapons, said the other motorist was harassing him

The other motorist, Brian Salisbury of Easton, called 911 after he says Mensch displayed the gun in the palm of his hand.
Now, let me guess. This is in Pennsylvania, right? A Disorderly Conduct conviction would not result in the loss of gun rights? Is that true?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I don't know the answer to that question about PA gun rights....but I sure know who to ask!

  2. Answer is that this doesn't affect his gun ownership rights in PA.

  3. The answer is this man is OK to run around carrying firearms since he pled guilty to a summary disordeerly conduct!

    18 Pa.C.S. § 6105

  4. Thanks Laci!

    You wrote, he pled guilty; perhaps I misunderstood, because I thought he was appealing his conviction?

    Find Law is another site that I enjoy very much on the internet.

    This just happened to be 'up' on their site today, which is interesting in the context of this case, on the subject of reasonable search and seizure in traffic stops.

    "What are my Rights During a Traffic Stop?
    By Cynthia Hsu on May 11, 2011 8:55 AM

    Imagine you're driving to a party, dancing along to the music on the radio. You swerve a bit on the road. Suddenly, you see the tell-tale flashing red lights behind you. It's the police. What should you do in a traffic stop? And more importantly, what are your rights?

    While police officers are given a high level of authority, they must abide by certain rules. With this in mind, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about traffic stops:
    What protects my rights during a traffic stop? The simple answer is the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. Officers are not generally allowed to search through your personal belongings, your house, or your car without reason.

    During a traffic stop, can the police search my vehicle? Maybe. Remember, the Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable search and seizure. Police officers will often ask you first if they can search your vehicle. If you consent, they can go head and conduct the search. However, even if you do not explicitly consent to the search, a police officer may go ahead and search your vehicle if they have reasonable suspicion that there is something dangerous or illegal that you are concealing. Depending on the state, the officer can also search through locked compartments of your car."

  5. Yes, as I suspected. PA gun rights folks backed by the NRA have arranged things in such a way that it's not so easy to lose your god-given natural human gun rights.