Skip to main content Skip to main content

PA Court Rules 'Finger Guns' Illegal

PA Court Rules 'Finger Guns' Illegal
Brandishing?

Pennsylvania’s courts prove once again, they are totally insane when it comes to guns - even imaginary ones.

According to WGAL News 8, making a “gun-like hand gesture” with your hand, is now a crime in PA. Stemming from a long-standing dispute between two neighbors, one Stephen Kirchner, was caught on security camera footage making a, “gun-like hand gesture” with his hand towards his neighbor after an argument.

Another neighbor who witnessed Kirchner’s gesture called 911, and Kirchner was taken into custody.

One year after being charged, Kirchner attempted to appeal the court’s decision because it, “did not cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition” but the court stood by their original ruling.


PA Court Rules Finger Guns Illegal
Steve Kirchner, alleged outlaw finger pistolero, and defendant in PA case.

While this is definitely a stupid decision on the court’s part, it is at least somewhat understandable given the long history of confrontations between Kirchner and his neighbor. Especially given that said neighbor has a no contact restraining order against him.


Still, this sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. One that could easily be intentionally misconstrued to get people in legal trouble over what is often a sign of affection. And by the court’s interpretation, does flipping someone off now constitute sexual misconduct?

Regardless of how someone feels about the case, blurring the lines between actual offenses, and imagined ones is a very slippery slope. Hopefully, this case gets another, successful appeal in the future - even if the defendant isn’t a stellar individual.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Be sure to watch for this exciting review by Firearms News' Hunting Field Editor Rikk Rambo later in 2021.Colt Reintroduces the Anaconda and Rikk Rambo Will Take It on an Alaskan Hunt!
Handguns

Colt Reintroduces the Anaconda and Rikk Rambo Will Take It on an Alaskan Hunt!

Be sure to watch for this exciting review by Firearms News' Hunting Field Editor Rikk Rambo...

Firearms News Staff

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590 models with the enhanced combat utility of a military “trench gun.” Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review
Shotguns

Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590...

Leroy Thompson

Popular Videos

Ruger Mini-14 A-Team

Ruger Mini-14 A-Team

The guns of the A-Team.

Colts 10mm Classic Pistol – the Delta Elite!

Colts 10mm Classic Pistol – the Delta Elite!

Pistol champion Patrick Sweeney takes a look at the 10mm 1911 pistol classic by Colt! Also, see his full review in Firearms News' 10mm Special Issue #23, 2020.

Dr. Will Dabbs Reviews the Pre-Ban Legend-Series AK!

Dr. Will Dabbs Reviews the Pre-Ban Legend-Series AK!

Dr. Will Dabbs reviews this special edition semi-auto AK from the late 1980s!

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Firearms News stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now