Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pa. 'soccer mom' loses hidden-weapons permit

Meleanie Hain gets a hug from daughter Isabella at the soccer field at Optimist Park in Lebanon, Pa. The mother upset other parents by bringing a loaded Glock 26 to a recent game.
Meleanie Hain gets a hug from daughter Isabella at the soccer field at Optimist Park in Lebanon, Pa. The mother upset other parents by bringing a loaded Glock 26 to a recent game. JIM ZENGERLE / Lebanon Daily News

LEBANON, Pa. - A woman's concealed-weapons permit was revoked after other parents complained about seeing her carrying a loaded handgun at her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game.

Meleanie Hain of Lebanon said she took her holstered Glock 26 everywhere for personal security, and is fighting the revocation by the Lebanon County sheriff.

"I'm just a soccer mom who has always openly carried [a firearm], and I've never had a problem before," Hain told the Lebanon Daily News this week. "I don't understand why this is happening to me."

She declined a request by the Associated Press for comment through her attorney, Robert Magee, of Allentown.

Youth soccer coach Charlie Jones said he asked Hain at a Sept. 11 game to move to the other side of the field, away from the sideline where the children were standing, after hearing that some parents were upset at seeing her gun.

"More than one parent was upset," he told the newspaper.

Hain later received a notice that Sheriff Michael DeLeo was revoking her concealed-weapon permit.

DeLeo cited a section of state law that bars the issuance of concealed-weapons permits to people who are deemed a danger to public safety based on their character and reputation. Hain showed poor judgment by wearing her gun at the game, he said.

DeLeo said that he understood his decision would force Hain to keep her weapon in plain view whenever she carries it, but that revoking her concealed-weapons permit was his only recourse because he could not legally confiscate her gun.

"I felt some action was needed, and I do believe that something like this should be brought to the public's attention," DeLeo said.

Magee said he would appeal DeLeo's decision. Carrying a firearm openly is legal everywhere in Pennsylvania except Philadelphia, Magee said.

"He's basically punishing her for doing something she is permitted by law to do," Magee said.

Hain also received an e-mail from the soccer program's director, Nigel Foundling, who warned that she had violated the program's policy and would be banned from attending her daughter's games if she continued to carry the gun.

"A responsible adult would realize that such behavior has no place at a soccer game," Foundling wrote, according to a copy of the e-mail provided to the Lebanon Daily News.

Associated Press
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