Salem teen cites right to bear arms at hearing
A Westmoreland County teenager argued in court on Monday that he acted lawfully when he entered a car with a firearm he was not licensed to carry.
Kyle Jacob Cortese, 19, of Salem, cited his right to bear arms and an exception in the law that permitted his actions. Cortese represented himself without the assistance of an attorney during an evidence suppression hearing.
“The whole reason to the suppression of the firearm is because it is not my firearm,” Cortese told Judge John E. Blahovec.
Cortese was arrested at gunpoint on April 10 by Delmont police as he was getting in a vehicle parked along Greensburg Street. He was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, a felony.
Former Delmont Patrolman Nathaniel Ferree testified that officers were “instructed to do surveillance around the (borough) council meeting” that night. Investigators have said Cortese and another man were attending council meetings with firearms.
Cortese had an unloaded 9mm pistol holstered on his right hip and two magazines on the opposite hip.
Investigators allege that when Cortese, then 18, entered the vehicle, the firearm became concealed.
Pennsylvania residents ages 21 and older can apply for a license to carry a concealed firearm.
Cortese argued that his actions were legal because the firearm and the vehicle were registered to his father.
Cortese presented as evidence his father's license to carry a concealed weapon and vehicle registration.
Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Calisti argued that while the legal exception exists, Cortese is not eligible.
“You have to be 21 to be able to carry a firearm in a vehicle,” she said. “When he got in that vehicle and started to drive, he started concealing a weapon.”
Blahovec said he will issue a ruling at a later date.
“I certainly don't believe the Second Amendment is a game,” he said.
“It just looks like somebody's trying to see how far they can toy with Delmont police,” Blahovec said.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland community leaders discuss how to meet hunger needs
- Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg
- Wrongful death suit against Westmoreland Manor settled
- Fines against MAX Environmental up to Westmoreland judge
- Student housing project approved in Greensburg
- ‘Bride’ goes on at Geyer theater in Scottdale
- Mt. Pleasant Township home destroyed by fire
- Marathoner hit by vehicle in Murrysville recuperates