Court denies area veteran’s request to purchase firearm

A federal judge ruled against a Jersey Shore man who wanted his gun ownership privilege returned.

U.S. Judge Matthew W. Brann ruled on the case filed by Victor Welshans, 60, of the borough, who claimed that his constitutional rights were violated when he was disqualified from purchasing a firearm in 2015. Welshans filed a civil lawsuit against Col. Tyree C. Blocker, state police commissioner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Christopher Wray, director of the FBI.

Welshans, who had been able to use a gun, was honorably discharged after service in Iraq in the Army Reserves and had been on active duty from 1999 through 2004, according to court documents.

He sought to buy a gun to shoot groundhogs at his family farm, for self-defense of his house, for recreational use and to be involved with honor guard activities, according to the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Welshans sought a declaratory judgment and/or injunction expunging his state record of an involuntary commitment.

However, a motion by Sessions and Wray, filed on June 9, 2017, was granted in part and denied in part by Brann.

“It is granted to the extent that Welshans sought judgment and/or injunction expunging his state record of commitment in 1999,” the judge wrote. “It is otherwise denied.”

Brann directed the clerk of courts to enter judgement in favor of Blocker and against Welshans.