Pa. man sues PSP for ‘mental defective’ finding

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man is suing the Pennsylvania State Police because he wasn’t allowed to buy a hunting rifle after a police background check deemed him a “mental defective” because of a mental health commitment the man claims never occurred.

The federal lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Burtner, of Butler, says the Pennsylvania Instant Check System wrongly indicated he was committed to Butler Memorial Hospital in 1992.

Burtner hired an attorney who determined the only records the hospital has for treating Burtner is a 2009 chest X-ray and a 2010 blood test.

But Burtner claims in the lawsuit that a state police attorney advised he’d have to sue to challenge and correct the information in the PICS system.

The state police don’t typically comment on litigation.

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