2019-02-09 / Front Page

Gun confiscation ruling upheld

A Potter County Court decision that granted a criminal defendant the right to keep some 27 guns the district attorney had ordered to be seized has been upheld by Pa. Supreme Court.

Justices rejected an appeal filed by DA Andy Watson after President Judge Stephen Minor ruled in favor of the defendant, 68-yearold John Cyran of Shinglehouse.

It’s a complicated case involving an intermingling of Pennsylvania and New York State laws that surfaced after Cyran was arrested on multiple counts back in July 2017.

According to state police at the Denton Hill barracks, the defendant was cited for illegal possession of a firearm, making terroristic threats, simple assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and harassment for an incident involving a 44-year-old man at a residence on Butter Creek Road in Oswayo Twp.

Police allege Cyran threatened the victim on multiple occasions, including one incident involving a baseball bat. They further alleged that Cyran, as a convicted felon, was prohibited from possessing guns.

Judge Minor ruled that the criminal charge Cyran had faced in New York -- tampering with a witness -- did not equate to Pennsylvania’s intimidation of a witness count. The latter carries a ban on firearms possession.

In essence, Pennsylvania’s charge requires that a witness must be threatened in some way. New York’s charge applies even if a witness is only subjected to some sort of inducement, such as a bribe, the Superior Court panel ruled.

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