Image credit: Alexis Jeannette Photography
This past October, Pennsylvania libertarian Roy Michael Bell went out to to purchase his very own firearm. A staunch advocate of individual liberty, Bell sought to acquire a .22 long rifle to protect himself with.
But to Bell’s dismay, he was shocked to find out he would be unable to purchase the .22LR. According to Bell, he was denied his request due to his sealed juvenile record.
Bell states on his GoFundMe page,
“I don’t even really know where to begin with this. Back in October I had attempted to purchase a firearm. I have no criminal adult background, however I do have a sealed juvenile record. I was told even by the judge that at 18 my record would be sealed and would have zero bearing on my adult life. This incident happened back in 2004, I was 12. According to the lawyer I reached out to pertaining to this, a sealed juvenile record can still affect your second amendment rights until you’re 30. Who knew? I didn’t. He continued to say that many cops and judges are completely ignorant of gun laws and how situations like mine are all too common. The retention fee is $750. If this advances further where I’ll have to go before a Judge, it’ll cost me another $250/HR. As it stands I can barely make enough to support myself. Any donations no matter how small are beyond appreciated!”
We reached out to Bell to find out more about his situation. Bell told us,
“I had received a call from corporal Sean Haynes of the PA state police last Thursday saying that whenever someone’s denied a firearms purchase they had to launch an investigation. This so called investigation took about 8 months according to him. When I asked him on the phone why he wanted me to come down to the state police barracks in Media PA. He said he couldn’t tell me over the phone that I would have to go down to the station or that he could pick me up.
I didn’t know it was about my juvenile record until I contacted Eric Winters of Prince Law Offices who specializes in gun laws. I explained my situation he outright said it could be a slight possibility that it’s due to my father being a convicted felon. We share the same first and last name, I’m not a junior because I have Michael as my middle name. Eric said it’s most likely my juvenile record because a sealed juvenile record will actually stop you from purchasing a gun until the person is 30. I never knew that.”
Bell then went into more detail about his sealed juvenile record,
“So as a kid, my dad was abusive. That’s why he’s a convicted felon. Anyway, one day I got into a fist fight with my dad and went into school with a busted lip. I was also picked on a lot by this kid twice my size. And one day I had enough. Said if he didn’t cut it out, I’d beat the sh*t out of him and that it’s not a threat, it’s a promise. My dad’s favorite line to me growing up. And this kid let’s call him Cartman, like Eric Cartman from south park, this kid was my schools version of the character. He would haze, pick on and be a general jerk to people.
When you push back, he explodes the story out of proportion. Well. He told my principal that I would ‘columbine the school’. So I was cuffed right away by the schools residential town cop. And I got charged with terroristic threats. And I went before a judge, he told me that as long as I kept my nose clean my adult life would he normal. Since I’ve kept a clean record. I never went to a juvenile detention center or anything severe like that. And I had told my potential lawyer that (Eric Winters) and he said even with that since I never served any time, I should be able to still have access to my second amendment rights.
If the judge had said I’d never be able to purchase a firearm in my life, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I took the judge up on his word that I would have a normal adult life, and now I’m in a sticky legal situation”
“Due to my situation, and others this could happen to, I would gladly join any advocacy effort to turn our gun laws back to where they should be. No one should have to deal with stress from an investigation from the police when trying to exercise their rights. Eric Winters and Joshua Prince want to make it to where you can at least see if someone can own a firearm without all this hassle. And I could easily get behind a movement like this. Penalizing people in adulthood for doing nothing wrong in adulthood is ludicrous.”
Bell is hoping to be represented by Eric Winters, but first requires a $750 retention fee. If the case proceeds to court, it would cost Bell an additional $250 per hour. He set up a GoFundMe to help him pay his legal fees, so he may fight to retain his 2nd amendment right. Please consider donating to help a brother in liberty restore his Constitutional rights.
If you would like to petition on behalf of Mr. Bell and ask the Pennsylvania State Police to please respect his 2nd amendment right, they can be reached at (484) 840-1000.