HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania woman sued a sheriff Monday who revoked her concealed-weapons permit after she upset fellow parents by wearing her holstered pistol to her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game.
Meleanie Hain alleges in the federal lawsuit that Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo violated her Second Amendment rights and prosecuted her maliciously when he took away her permit in September.
Hain, 30, successfully appealed the revocation last month, although the judge who restored her permit questioned her judgment and said she "scared the devil" out of others who attended the Sept. 11 soccer game.
'Still being punished'
Hain said Monday that her baby-sitting service has suffered, her children have been harassed, and she has been ostracized by her neighbors because of DeLeo's actions. In one instance, she said, a neighbor who saw her in a local store had the manager ask her to leave because she was carrying her handgun.
"I fought for my right, and now I'm still being punished," she said.
DeLeo's office referred questions to the county's attorney, George Christianson, who did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
DeLeo said at Hain's Oct. 14 appeal that he revoked her permit after fielding the parents' complaints. He said he based his decision on a state law that prohibits concealed-weapons permits from being given to people whose character and reputation make them a danger to public safety.
No legal right to take permit?
Hain has said she previously carried her handgun openly to soccer games and practices and other public places without any problem. Her attorney, Matthew Weisberg, said DeLeo had no legal right to take away her permit.
"The sheriff just rides into town and without any hearing, explanation or anything, takes away her license and forces her into court," he said.
In addition to monetary damages, Weisberg said, Hain's lawsuit seeks a court order for DeLeo to undergo law enforcement education.
"He needs to be educated that the complaints of a few do not compel him to suppress individual rights," he said.
Hain is joined in the lawsuit by her husband, Scott, who contends he has lost his wife's "companionship, consortium, society and services" as a result of the harm she has suffered.
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