State Trooper Banned From Having A Gun While Off Duty

| by Kathryn Schroeder

State Trooper Michael L. Keyes can carry a gun while on duty. When off duty, however, he is barred by law from possessing any firearms.

Keyes being banned from firearms off duty stems from a decision by the state of Pennsylvania's Superior Court, based on events from seven years ago.

Keyes suffered from deep depression, tried to kill himself repeatedly by taking drugs, and was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment, reports The Patriot News. These factors weighed in to the decision made by the court on whether to allow Keyes to carry a firearm off duty.

The court's ruling states that Keyes' involuntary mental health commitment constitutes an unsurmountable legal barrier to his ability to possess a gun.

The federal Gun Control Act is at play in this decision. It bars anyone who has been subjected to involuntary mental health commitments from possessing guns. Expungement is not possible for Keyes' involuntary mental health commitment record and so he cannot surmount the federal ban.

Infowars comments on the situation, stating an implication here that public officials have special status over private citizens, since Keyes can carry a firearm when he is serving the state.

President Judge Emeritus Kate Ford Elliott wrote that it is rational for Keyes to still be allowed a gun on duty because he is under supervision and observation of superior officers and his fellow troopers.

The Patriot News attempted to reach Keyes' attorney, Joshua Prince, for comment on the case, but was unsuccessful.