Butler man allowed to buy gun under settlement with state

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The state has agreed to settle a lawsuit by a Butler man, who was told he couldn't buy a gun, by removing unspecified information from police records and paying him $400, according to an agreement released today.

Jeffrey L. Burtner, of Butler, sued the Pennsylvania State Police in June, claiming that he was told he couldn't buy a gun because he was a "mental defective."

People who have been adjudicated as mentally defective or committed to a mental institution aren't allowed to own guns. Mr. Burtner, according to the lawsuit, had been able to buy guns in the past, and showed the state evidence that he should not have been barred from buying more, but police refused to correct the error.

The precise nature of the information being removed from state records is redacted from the copy of the agreement provided to the Post-Gazette.

The settlement amount matches the payment Mr. Burtner made to file the lawsuit in federal court.

The state expressly denies wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.


Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord

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