A central Pennsylvania Amish man is challenging the U.S. Government’s mandatory photo I.D. provision to buy a gun.
Andrew Hertzler, of Watsontown, alleges that his religious beliefs prevent him from having his photograph taken and/or stored. Hertzler filed suit in the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania on Friday, claiming that photo identification requirement violates both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and his right to keep and bear arms. Parties named in the suit include Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, ATF acting director Thomas E. Brandon and ATF Assistant Director Christopher Shaffer.
Hertzler, who actively practices his Amish faith, desires a gun for self-defense. However, it is also a ‘sincerely held religious belief’ that prevents him from allowing his photograph to be taken. The lawsuit reads, in part,
The Amish faith prohibits an individual from having his/her photograph taken,” the suit reads. “This belief stems from the Biblical passage Exodus 20:4, which mandates that ‘You shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth’, as well as the Christian belief in humility.
Hertzler CAN buy a firearm without photo identification by procuring a federal firearm license, which would allow him to sell, make or transfer firearms. However, he does not wish to do so. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) attempted to contact the ATF on behalf of his constituent. The ATF responded through Toomey’s office that federal law provided no exception to the mandatory photo ID provision. Hertzler says he was forced at this point to choose between his constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the tenets of his religion.
So if you want a gun Mr. Hertzler, apply for a federal firearm license. Seems pretty simple to me.
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