proposed laws

PA Bill Number: HB2819

Title: In sentencing, providing for sentences for persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms.

Description: In sentencing, providing for sentences for persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms. ...

Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY

Last Action Date: Oct 6, 2022

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FOAC's Weekly Message For Saturday March 5th 2022 :: 03/05/2022

As we watch history unfold, we are seeing it repeat.

I am astounded at how quickly the President and the media have switched their focus from “sickness, doom, and gloom” and very unpopular oppressive mask mandates to Russian threats to “democracy”.

They are praising ordinary people who are heroically taking up arms to protect themselves from attack in Ukraine, but are continuing to single out a specific group of Americans, law abiding gun owners, for further restriction and demonization.

But take a breath… Mr. Biden has assured us that we will be “OK”.

I wholly agree with the President, in that we will be “OK”. One of the reasons is we have an armed and educated citizenry, we have the 2nd Amendment and in Pennsylvania we have Article 1 Section 21 of the PA Constitution:

  • 21.  Right to bear arms.

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

However, too often, this President and many others in the halls of Government, have ACTUALLY threatened the very fabric of our Constitutional Republic by seeking to infringe and question our God given right to self-defense that is guaranteed in our founding documents.

Recently, the government of the Ukraine created a pseudo 2nd Amendment and took steps to arm their citizens to empower them in order to defend themselves and their country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy  tweeted, 'We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.'

He followed with, 'We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.'

It would seem that the Ukrainian Government is now seeing the value of an armed citizenry. I applaud their sudden enlightenment and wish them all the strength and resolve to defend their sovereign soil. The power of “the people” has shown time and time again throughout history to be the best defense against aggression.

Klint Macro with FOAC Life Member and NRA Board Candidate Frank Tait, and FOAC-ILLEA Board Member Dan McMonagle

Years ago, I had the opportunity to submit written testimony to the PA Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of the Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League. They were debating various “gun control” measures and solicited the advice from many folks in the pro and anti-Liberty community. I am proud to say that many FOAC members were present for the hearings. In the document, I quoted Kenneth Van Wyk, from a Facebook post that he had published. I thought his words were very profound.

“Never in the history of predation has a predator been stopped by disarming its prey.”  -Kenneth Van Wyk

It is self-evident that the Ukrainian Government has recognized this fact. Although the Russian “powers that be” are careful to state that their objectives are Military targets and NOT civilian, the Ukrainian Government realize that the only way to truly defend the country from Russian forces is to “call up” the people to defend the country. The Ukrainian people recognize that “The Government” cannot protect them from Russian invaders so they are taking up arms on their own. It doesn’t take a “rocket surgeon” to figure out that maybe the founding fathers were onto something with this idea that the citizenry should be educated about arms (well regulated) and should be encouraged to arm themselves without government interference.

With all this said, and considering the current political context, why then would our federal executive, days after praising the people of the Ukraine for fighting to defend themselves, push to restrict, infringe, question and disarm law abiding gun owners? Whose side is he on? Who is he empowering when he seeks to restrict the Rights and Liberty of law-abiding Americans?

In my research for this edition of the newsletter, I came upon and article on www.guns.com written by Will Owen. His article literally says everything I was going to write… maybe a bit better than I might have done. So, before I continue my thoughts, let me interject the article by Will Owen.

ALTERNATE REALITY: PRAISE FOR UKRAINE’S ARMED CIVILIANS, GUN RESTRICTIONS AT HOME: 03/04/2022 05:00 AM | WILL OWEN

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominated the news cycle over the last two weeks while also generating some head-spinning responses from traditionally staunch gun control advocates. Just perusing the latest headlines, political speeches, and the avalanche of responses to both can leave you reeling.

On the one hand, there’s been near-wild applause from Democrats and Republicans alike for Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion, which included such actions as creating that nation’s equivalent of the Second Amendment. The move legally affirms the rights of Ukrainians to not only use firearms in defense of the nation but their right to own and carry guns for their own self-defense. 

That act was quickly followed by the dissemination of some 18,000 AKs to determined civilians in Kyiv. Then the world watched and nearly universally cheered – Putin maybe not so much – as ordinary Ukrainian citizens learned not only how to make Molotov cocktails but also how to use them as effective fighting tools.

Even notoriously anti-gun political activist groups in America known for hard-line stances that no civilian should or would ever have a rational reason to own an AR-15 or AK47 were jumping on the bandwagon.

It almost seemed like the time could be ripe for an honest discussion about the value of ordinary citizens who were not simply repressed from firearms ownership but instead taught the values of being a responsible gun owner. Civilians, yes, but ones who both possessed the power to exercise gun rights and were actually encouraged to become familiar with firearms.

The concept isn’t exactly new in the region. Finland, which has a long history of resisting Russian invasions and one of the world's highest gun ownership rates, actively trains its general population, including a short period of military instruction for young men followed by supplementary training for years after. It’s an observation that even an outlet like The Atlantic, no particular friend to the pro-2A movement, was able to recognize and explore briefly just after the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Then, during President Biden’s State of the Union address this week, which was itself riddled with false claims about firearms in the U.S., the show of solidarity for the Ukrainian government, military, and now increasing armed general population was all but universal.

Yet, in the same address, the well-tuned piano of support for Ukrainians’ right to keep and bear arms broke into the traditional chords of restrictions and limitations for law-abiding American gun owners here at home.

The mid-speech shift was hardly unexpected from a staunch gun control politician like Biden, who has turned making references to his work crafting the 1994 “Assault Weapons” Ban and off-the-cuff false claims about everything from “ghost guns” to civilian ownership of cannons a press-room standard. Neither was the avalanche of retweets, shares, and reposts that followed from other anti-gun activists. 

In fact, amid a real-world demonstration of the importance of firearms rights in Ukraine – which, again, was inspired to create its own version of the Second Amendment – the urgency to move in the opposite direction here in the states seemed to be rising. Just days after Putin’s invasion and the president’s speech, Democratic senators pushed Biden to get their gun control agenda done faster with executive action.

“Because we are at a logjam in the United States Senate, it means that the burden on the administration to step up and take action is great,” said Sen Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Wednesday. He took special aim at a gun control favorite, so-called “ghost guns,” as manufactured, untraceable firearms that pose a special threat. It’s also a common false claim repeated by the president, even though it goes against his own DOJ’s finds.  

Alas, as Biden and other gun control advocates praised arming civilians on one side of the Atlantic – actively helping in the process with more arms on the way – the rhetoric about “assault weapon” bans, conjured fears over “ghost guns,” registrations, and a slurry of other restrictions seemed to continue with an unaware, zombie-like shuffle here. All in all, 2022 is proving to be a confusing year if you’re trying to follow gun control advocates on the national and global stage. 

On the flip side of the coin – for those at home keeping score – as the Ukrainian government further opened gun ownership as a pathway to self-defense for its citizens, Putin’s Russia will be adding additional restrictions to gun ownership in 2022, raising the age for ownership to 21 and adding more license refusal criteria. Despite the number of firearms inside the country, legal civilian ownership hovers closer to 3 percent, with access already curtailed by requirements for government background checks, licensing, and federal testing restrictions. 

Will Owen makes a very interesting observation.

While the Ukrainian Government is empowering the citizens, Russia is adding more restrictions to gun ownership on the Russian people. Perhaps Putin is taking a page out of the Joe Biden playbook?

Say, What Gives?” - Moe Howard from the 3 Stooges

What benefit does Putin and Biden gain by restricting their respective citizens/comrades/subjects’ individual right to self-defense? If the founding fathers and the Ukrainian Government armed the citizenry to fight tyrants, why would Putin and the Biden Administration (and many in the halls of Government) seek to restrict and disarm their own Country men and women?

  • 1911: Turkey; citizens disarmed – 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered
  • 1929: Russia; citizens disarmed – 20 million Russians murdered
  • 1935: China; citizens disarmed – 20 million Chinese killed
  • 1938: Germany; citizens disarmed – 6 million Jews murdered
  • 1956: Cambodia; citizens disarmed – 1 million “intellectuals” killed
  • 1964: Guatemala; citizens disarmed – 100,000 Mayan Indians massacred
  • 1970: Uganda; citizens disarmed – 300,000 Christians put to death

From American Gun News

For many years, I worked in an industry that was heavily occupied by “Liberalminded” folks. These were largely good freedom loving Americans, possibly misled, and some did not see the value in the 2A that I did. I wrote an article that was published by the USCCA called “Constitutional Debates in a Sound Proof Room”.

In it, I paraphrased a discussion where a music client of mine was advocating for people to turn in their AR15 “Military Style Assault Rifles”. He, being a Bernie supporter, was not a supporter of then President Trump so I said to him, “So what you are telling me is Donald Trump should be the only person in control of these types of firearms, as he is the Commander in Chief of the Military?” I continued, “Do you really think criminals will hand over their firearms? Do you think Donald Trump will personally protect you when that criminal attacks you? Do you trust your government that much?”

“Governments don't want a population capable of critical thinking, they want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and just dumb enough to passively accept their situation.” -George Carlin

What does Biden and Putin have in store for “their people”? What is the endgame? When a “leader” seeks to restrict, limit, or abolish the individual Rights and Liberties of the citizens, we as FREE PEOPLE must question the logic, wisdom, and intent of such policies, platforms, decisions, and actions.

“I believe that people have a right to decide their own destinies; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only so long as) individual citizens give it a temporary license to exist, in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government. It doesn’t own you.” -Frank Zappa

We must question the logic of any restriction of any American by any elected official.

Right now, as the mid-terms loom, many in the Democrat party, including those in the Biden Regime, are concerned that the sins of the last 2 years; governmental overreach, lock down orders, lawlessness, high gas prices, inflation, restriction of basic American Rights, and a measurable pattern of the elected class only protecting and empowering the elected class, are going to catch up to them in a big way at the polls.

The media re-education that has conditioned many to believe that your vote doesn’t count, is at best, horse shit. If gun owners show up at the polls, which would constitute record numbers, we can remove those in power that use power to take away the power of the people.

In 2020 I was honored to be invited to record a speech for a virtual 2A Rally. In the video, I posed the question, “Do you believe that “The Government” will protect you from “The Government”?

A few years ago, FOAC joined a coalition of Pro-Liberty organizations and companies in a postcard campaign where we sent a very specific message to elected officials. The postcard read:

The erosion of one Right is an attack on them all. 'We The People', the law-abiding citizens of the United States, stand together in our cause. We are steadfast and resolute. It is time for elected officials to stop attacking the rights of law-abiding citizens. The restriction, limitation, or destruction of Liberty is NEVER the answer.

Oppose all legislation, regulations, executive orders, or rulings that undermine the rights

given by God and guaranteed by the Constitution of The United States and Bill of Rights.

'We The People' are watching!

The efforts at Lexington and Concord and now in Kyiv, show teach us that an armed citizenry is the best defense against tyrants. When Governments exhibit “tyrant behavior”, it is logical that those governments would use their power to disarm the populous. But here we are in the good ol’ U.S. of A., why would the President of the U.S. seek to disarm the citizens. Why indeed.

Do not be misled by the spin. “The People” of the Ukraine were “granted” their 2A by their government because it served to protect those in political power. The people of the Ukraine now enjoy Liberty in the face of war. May they fight to save their lives and then fight to retain their freedom from their government when the Russians go home. While we are being directed to look “over there”, what is our government doing to further restrict your Liberty? Keep your eyes and ears open and stay frosty.

THE FOAC-ILLEA SPRING GUN BASH

The FOAC-ILLEA Spring Gun bash is March 19th. The gun bashes are our main fundraisers and the best damn gun bashes in Pennsylvania! We printed 1,000 tickets and they are SOLD OUT!

Didn’t get a ticket?

No problem, join us ANYHOW at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Eat the terrific food, enjoy a cool beverage, and fellowship with other Liberty-minded Americans! You can purchase an entry ticket for $25 on the day. You will be able to eat, drink, be merry and play the side tables, special raffles, and other drawings.

See yinz at the bash!

Representative Bud Cook and the FOAC Team at the Concealed Carry Seminar in Coal Center, PA

FOAC-ILLEA UPCOMING EVENTS

FOAC-ILLEA will be presenting concealed carry seminars, speaking at training events, working at firearm license to carry satellite events, and much more. To see a complete schedule of events, visit the FOAC-ILLEA Events page on the website.

CONSIDERING MICRO-COMPACT PISTOLS

By Stephen LaSpina, FOAC-ILLEA Board Member

We are undoubtedly living in the golden age of concealed carry. When I first began carrying a firearm on a daily basis nearly ten years ago, there were nowhere near as many models and features to choose from as we have today. The most recent iteration in defensive concealed carry pistols is the high-capacity, micro-compact handgun. I’m referring to models such as the Sig Sauer P365, Springfield Armory Hellcat, and the Ruger MAX-9. Small semi-automatic pistols have been around since the early 1900s, but these modern models manage to cram up to 50% more rounds in a magazine than their predecessors. People have asked me, what’s the point in carrying a larger gun if I have almost the same amount of rounds in a much smaller package? This is a valid question worthy of discussion. 

First, it must be noted that these little pistols certainly have some positive attributes. For one, they are small and lightweight, which lends them to being easier to conceal and carry.  Flatness in a pistol certainly aids in concealability, and the small overall size generally means people have more options in how they may carry the gun, like ankle or pocket carry, which are nearly impossible with larger framed guns. In addition, people with smaller hands and fingers may find themselves more comfortable with the smaller grip. They may also find it easier to manipulate the magazine release and slide-stop. Finally, the increased capacity of these firearms is truly a feat of engineering. Those of us who were amazed by the original Smith & Wesson Shield when it first came to market (with 7+1 capacity in a flush-fit magazine) can hardly believe that the dimensionally smaller Springfield Hellcat crams 4 more rounds into its flush-fit magazine. It truly is amazing how far firearms design and engineering has come in the last decade. 

However, these little guns have some drawbacks that should be acknowledged. Recently, I had the chance to shoot both the Hellcat and the P365. As someone who normally carries and shoots double stack compact and full-size handguns, my first thought when pressing the trigger on each was, “Wow, snappy!” 

Smaller-framed guns in the same-size caliber as their bigger brothers inevitably have more perceived recoil. The laws of physics often make these little guns more difficult to shoot well as more energy is transferred into the shooters hands and arms during recoil. This reality is often not fully appreciated by shooters until they commit to training with that handgun. Practice days at the range can be more grueling and punishing on ones hands, not to mention a formal training class that may require 500 plus rounds downrange in a day.

 

Next, what makes these guns more pleasurable for people with smaller hands makes them more difficult to operate for those with average-sized or larger hands, or even those with longer fingers. Length of pull to the trigger is substantially shortened, so it can be difficult to press the trigger with the pad of your finger. I for one, when shooting something in this size range, find myself manipulating the trigger with the top joint of my index finger. If I do not, I find that my grip becomes compromised because I do not have enough of my dominant hand on the gun. Additionally, these little guns generally do not come with back straps or grip panels to adjust the size in any way.  

Speaking of grip, there is typically less to hold on to with a micro-compact gun. One of the reasons rifles are more forgiving than pistols for higher precision shooting is that there are more points of contact to stabilize the gun (two hands, shoulder, and cheek hold). The same general principle applies here. It is generally easier to shoot a handgun the size of a Glock 17 because there is more of the gun interfacing with the hands. The increased height and width of the grip provide more real estate, enabling the shooter to get more of their hands on the gun. I find that my support hand has difficulty locking into a position on a micro-compact gun, sometimes even partially coming off the gun during faster strings of fire. Ultimately, this can significantly affect ones ability to get consistent hits on target. The reduced grip can also make accessing the firearm from a holster more challenging. There’s simply just less gun to grab on to. In addition, many users will find that they need to break their good firing grip during a reload because their pinky finger is either rolled under the magazine baseplate or clutching the extended magazine’s grip sleeve. This makes a reload significantly more challenging for those with medium-to-large hands.

The decreased sight-radius is another drawback to these firearms. It is generally easier to attain more precision with a gun that has greater distance between the front and rear sights (another advantage a rifle generally provides). These smaller guns are definitely on the short end of the spectrum with their small, lightweight slides and decreased barrel lengths. 

Finally, all of these factors play into something known as “shootability.” Shootability may be defined as a measure of how intuitively, comfortably, and consistently one can shoot their firearm. It is often much easier for people to shoot a handgun the size of a Glock 19 than a small-framed micro-compact. This is not to say that one cannot train and practice to obtain a high degree of competency with a small gun, but they will typically invest more time, effort, and energy in that pursuit. 

Micro-compact guns are undoubtedly attractive to people who want to carry something small and lightweight, but people can oftentimes carry a bigger gun than they initially think they can: they may have simply not found the right belt and/or holster setup to make it comfortable for them. 

I have had students in my classes who were surprised and frustrated at how they had difficulty in shooting their small gun as well as they thought they could. I have also seen people take a full-size gun to a training class, then swap out to something the size of a Ruger LCP for the ride home. These shooters do themselves and potentially their families a disservice by not training with the gun they carry every day for protection. 

So what type of gun should you choose? No one can make that choice for you. If you can, try before you buy, and don’t be afraid to sell or trade in a gun that you find just isn’t suitable for you. Your life is unique to you: what works for one person may not work well for the next, so examine your own personal needs and lifestyle when selecting a firearm for personal defense.  A micro-compact may be the best option if deep concealment is critical in your daily routine but be willing to put in the time and training to overcome any of the potential disadvantages.  Whatever you choose, get quality training and practice often to be proficient with your chosen handgun. Should the day ever come when you need it, you’ll be glad you did. 

FOAC-ILLEA President, Kim Stolfer Speaking at the 2021 Rally

SAVE THE DATE: HARRISBURG 2A RALLY

Join FOAC-ILLEA, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, and many pro-Liberty elected officials, organizations, and patriotic Pennsylvanians on the steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA for the 17th Annual “Second Amendment Gun Rally” on Monday, September 12, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

The list of speakers has not been finalized, but I can assure you that there will be some excellent presenters. 

This will be Rep. Metcalfe’s last rally as the primary organizer, he plans on passing the baton of Liberty to the next generation of Freedom Loving, Liberty Defending representatives of the people of Pennsylvania. Join us!

This event is being organized and more details will be provided in the months to come. In the meantime, request the day off, organize your friends at the lodge, club, range, or office and help us show those in the Capitol and across the Commonwealth that you agree that the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

IN CONCLUSION

Our Liberty is fragile. The events of the last 2 years have shown that many are quick to give it up for heath and safety. Many in government are quick to limit it for convenience or control. The events of the last 2 weeks have shown us that it is necessary for the defense of a country and governments believe that it is given to the people by the government when they see fit to do so.

The first step in regaining and retaining Liberty is recognizing that we ARE 'The People' and free Americans in spite of the Government. The 2nd step is being OK with whatever level of confrontation results from those who govern disagreeing with us.

Stay Armed and Be Well Regulated!

Yours Respectfully,

Klint Macro

2nd VP FOAC-ILLEA