proposed laws

PA Bill Number: HB1725

Title: In inchoate crimes, prohibiting the possession of firearm at polling place.

Description: In inchoate crimes, prohibiting the possession of firearm at polling place. ...

Last Action:

Last Action Date: Jul 17, 2019

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upcoming events

Firearms Preemption Meeting - 08/1/2019
Starlite Ballroom Social Hall (Fearless Fire Co) 1221 South Front Street, Allentown, PA


FOAC Monthly Meeting - 08/11/2019
South Fayette Township Municipal Building 515 Millers Run Road, Morgan, PA


Senator Jim Brewster's Annual 45th District Golf Classic - 08/19/2019
Youghiogheny Country Club 1901 Greenock Buena Vista Rd, McKeesport, PA

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FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday April 21st 2019 :: 04/21/2019

When debating/discussing the issues surrounding the 2nd Amendment and firearms in general, it is inevitable that ‘someone’ will begin to criticize us in a self-righteous and indignant tone as if they have the moral duty to demonize you/me and gun ownership. In dealing with these individuals there seems to be two-dimensional mindset at work that refuses to consider the possibility of another perspective that ‘they’ have not considered.

A truly honest answer to these individuals must begin with questions regarding their assumptions behind their positions.

To start with, why do these self-righteous (our moral betters) warriors seem to have all been coached into lumping all the types of deaths together? Are they oblivious to this foundational mistake ‘or’ (more likely) are they doing this intentionally to try to create a more emotionally charged number to score points in political debates? Each type of death has its own originations and its own solutions. Just blaming them all on the availability of guns makes an honest person wonder about the motive behind that. Why would some politicians and their media allies want us to lump those together? Doesn’t that confuse the issues and impede progress on each one?

Next, and perhaps ‘most’ importantly’, there is an extremely important unfounded assumption behind their confrontational approach and that is that gun control laws will actually make a difference. There are entire volumes and decades of studies and research that explain why they don’t work and the consequences in lives when they do fail. With so many different gun laws in the 50 states, it’s pretty easy to compare the results and restrictive gun laws simply don’t provide any benefit to society.

Anti-gun focused individuals and organizations keep coming back to emotion-based positions that there must be something we can do about those deaths and it has to involve limiting access to guns. It’s not the job or legal duty of government to save all people. Humans are a violent species. They will find ways to kill and injure themselves and each other in spite of our best efforts-just look at England, Mexico, etc.

Another view and example of this is Christopher Hitchens discussion about our attitudes toward freedom and government activity at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2010. Christopher Hitchens was one of the most perceptive commentators on politics and culture. Born in England shortly after the end of the Second World War, he came to the United States in the 80s and became a citizen after the 9/11 attacks. His specific argument is that Americans don’t want universal healthcare but do want access to guns because we prefer dangerous freedom. He saw this as a continuation of our frontier spirit that drove people to pick up and go west whenever things got too regulated back home.

If we are truly concerned about preventable deaths, we would better spend our time raising awareness of the many other societal and social problems that cause exponentially more deaths.

It is a credible belief, bolstered by how government has reacted in other states across America, that liberals don’t like widespread civilian gun ownership because that makes it harder for them to impose their will on the people who don’t agree with their agenda. While, obviously, that is very simplistic, I’m sure we can do better if we just put some time and honest effort into it.

Gun owners, traditionally, tend to make our arguments with facts, studies and anecdotes about our personal observations on the ground, so to speak. Anti-gun individuals prefer to persuade by convincing others how strongly they feel about the issue. It seems, all too often, that they think that if they can only impress others with how really, really important something is to them, that others will be converted to their point of view.

This disconnect between our thought processes, I feel, is one of the reasons why anti-gunners are so frustrated and we as a nation are so polarized.

AmmoLand FOIA Request to NJ State Police Confirms Citizens Ignoring Magazine Ban With ‘Zero’ Standard Capacity Magazines Turned In

There are an estimated one million-gun owners with standard capacity magazines (10+ rounds) in the State of New Jersey, bringing an estimated number of magazines holding more than ten rounds to around ten million. Some estimates even have this number being higher.

When New Jersey passed a law making these magazines illegal in 2018, there was a debate on whether the gun owners of the state would hand in their magazines. When the law went into effect at the end of last year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal celebrated it as a victory against gun rights advocates.

SGT Kristina Pados of the New Jersey State Police responded to a FOIA request from Ammoland News where-in she confirmed gun owners of New Jersey have surrendered no magazines. However, she did state that local departments might have them.

AmmoLand then reached out to local police departments across New Jersey and has not been able to find a single magazine turned over to the authorities. It would seem like the gun owners of New Jersey have decided to engage in ‘civil disobedience’ to ignore the law most likely because it is unenforceable.

In addition, New Jersey residents have been openly mocking Democrat Governor Phil Murphy on message boards and Facebook groups. This revelation feeds into the narrative that the new law was just a ploy to please the Governor's anti-gun base.

Gov. Murphy has not commented on the failure of the new law.

Anti-Gun California Congressman Swalwell’s Gun Control Agenda Goes FAR Beyond a Ban

Though we’ve discussed Eric Swalwell before, but it’s worth following up, given that the Congressman from California announced he’s running for President.

Swalwell is most notorious amongst Second Amendment supporters for threatening to use nuclear weapons against gun owners who refuse to turn in modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms. Just to drive a very important fact home: Justice Department statistics show that rifles and shotguns of any type – much less the modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles and shotguns that Swalwell particularly wants to ban – are very rarely used in crime.

Yet despite the facts, Swalwell is pushing an England/Australia/New Zealand-style “ban and buyback” of these guns. If you don’t “sell” your modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearm “back” to the government, you then get jail time – if Swalwell feels charitable. The threat of nukes, though, are still hanging overhead when he decides to take a hard line.

The “ban and buyback” Swalwell wishes to impose upon millions of Americans who never shot up a church, school, movie theater, restaurant, concert, or other venue is enough evidence to declare that any protestations this Congressman makes about respecting the Second Amendment are lies. But while that one position is damning enough to justify calling him a liar when he claims to support the Second Amendment defensible, there is far more evidence.

During a CNN town hall, Breitbart News noted that Swalwell also came out in favor of a licensing scheme and requiring gun owners to buy insurance. The former has long been a desire of anti-Second Amendment extremists (remember LBJ condemning the NRA for blocking licensing in 1968?). The latter is a way to make exercising Second Amendment rights much more difficult and expensive.

But wait, there’s more! Swalwell has pushed other infringements on our right to keep and bear arms. According to Breitbart, those provisions include the creation of a database of gun owners, “universal” background checks, and to do “what Australia did.” Swalwell even went so far as to claim that gun owners shouldn’t fear a database because it wouldn’t be used to “round up guns.”

Yeah, sure… so why is it that when New Zealand decided to revoke a license for BB guns (wait, Swalwell never mentioned requiring a license to buy a BB gun – did he?) because the gun owner expressed support for President Trump, they listed the two air rifles he would have 90 days to surrender? Or how about the experience of New York City? So, in other words, supporting pro-Second Amendment elected officials – or opposing them – could cost you your rights.

As an aside, it should be noted that when New York City created its database over five decades ago, one former police commissioner felt that a would-be gun owner would need to show “good and sufficient reason” to have a given rifle or shotgun – that the registry was a mistake in that it assumed a right to own a rifle or shotgun. Incidentally, you have to provide a reason for a given gun when trying to get a license in Australia or New Zealand. One thing that isn’t a “good and sufficient reason” to own a gun in your own home is personal protection.

Funny that Swalwell didn’t mention that. For someone who claims to support the Second Amendment, which states that “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” he sure would do a lot of infringing if he were President.

Brady Anti-Gunners Seek Info to Link Pro 2nd Amendment Groups to 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Movement

The Brady anti-gun group, once known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, is looking for evidence in an effort to show that Second Amendment organizations are responsible for the growing “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement across several states, the Associated Press is reporting.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Brady group has filed freedom of information act (FOIA) requests with several Nevada counties, declaring that sheriffs in those counties have “gone rogue.”

Similar Second Amendment sanctuary efforts are underway in Washington, Illinois and New Mexico. In those states, county sheriffs and even some county commissions have gone on record opposing stiff new gun control laws that have been passed, either by legislatures or by citizen initiative. The movement has been very high profile in those three states. In Washington, a majority of county sheriffs and at least seven county commissions have announced they will not enforce provisions of Initiative 1639, a multi-faceted gun control measure passed by voters last November that raises the age to purchase a semi-auto rifle to 21, and defines every semiautomatic rifle in the state as a “semiautomatic assault rifle.”

According to Pew Trusts, 29 sheriffs in New Mexico are also essentially in rebellion against new gun control laws.

The idea of a “Second Amendment sanctuary county” came as a counter-slap at liberal “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officers. The difference is that “sanctuary cities” provide safe havens for people apparently in the country illegally, while “Second Amendment sanctuaries” theoretically protect a constitutionally-enumerated right from being violated by enforcement of gun control laws.

Pew Trusts reported “More than 200 counties across nine states have vowed not to enforce new state measures that restrict gun access, and 132 have declared themselves to be Second Amendment ‘sanctuaries.’” Most of those counties joined the growing “sanctuary” movement in the aftermath of last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement presents a problem for gun prohibition lobbying groups and anti-gun-rights politicians.

The Brady group has been relatively quiet over the past few years since the rise of anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety,” the gun prohibition lobbying group that has spent millions of dollars supporting gun control laws and anti-gun politicians.

20% of Ignorant Citizens Think Owning a Gun is Immoral

We have commented before about a recent, very troubling Rasmussen poll that revealed that 20% of registered voters in the United States believe owning a gun is immoral. From jacksonville.com:

Beyond specific issues, the attitudes being voiced by many progressive Democrats seem almost designed specifically to antagonize Midwestern voters. Twenty percent of all voters consider owning a gun immoral, and 20% believe it is immoral to call for limits on government. Eleven percent think eating meat and having children are also immoral.

The specific Rassmussen poll was taken on 23-24 March 2019, at scottrasmussen.com.

In the poll, 9% thought owning a gun was very immoral. 11% thought owning a gun was somewhat immoral.  15% thought it was not very immoral, and 58% thought it was not at all immoral.

The poll was of registered voters, which is helpful. It would be interesting to know what the numbers would be of likely or actual voters.

It is not surprising that a very similar number thought to limit government was immoral.

9% thought it was very immoral; and 11% thought it was somewhat immoral, with 53% saying it was not immoral at all.

This poll reinforces the idea there is a significant overlap between those who do not want any limits on government and those who oppose people owning firearms.

Those who think it immoral to own firearms are about evenly split between men and women, with a few more men than women.

Those who think it immoral to limit government, have a few more women than men.

About a year ago, an essay was posted online that explained the mindset of consciously unarmed people and wrote this:

If you have chosen to be unarmed, you probably do not have much knowledge about firearms and firearms technology. Learning and knowing about firearms is one of the costs that people avoid by choosing to be unarmed. When gun owners point out technical mistakes in articles and legislation concerning guns, it strikes you as meaningless babble. Semi-automatic, automatic- who cares? You are not interested in guns, so technical distinctions are considered unimportant.

Because you have chosen to be unarmed, you know you need an armed protector to keep you safe. That would be the government. To make such a choice, you assume that government is benevolent, concerned with your safety, and available in time of need. It helps to assume the need for an armed protector is minimal. Thus, unarmed people constantly attempt to minimize the need for armed protection.

This explains the arguments put forward to claim that crime is not a problem, the government could never become tyrannical, attempts to minimize the danger of wild animals and the desire to minimize government ineffectiveness during emergencies. It explains why so much effort is expended to discredit the number of times firearms are used for self defense and to prevent crime.

People who believe that owning firearms is immoral are almost certainly consciously unarmed.  Today, in the United States, no one forces people to be armed, though there were laws to require people to be armed in the colonies and the early history of the United States.

The vast majority of those who believe guns are immoral are urban dwellers. It is hard to sustain this belief if you live in a rural area where guns show utility in everyday life.

It is hard to sustain the belief if you are exposed to examples where guns are used effectively for defense against humans, as are most police and military people.  This effect is why the Old Media spiked self-defense stories for decades.

Having 20% of the population believe limits on government, or gun ownership (one of those limits) is immoral, is a dangerous thing in a republic designed to be limited, by its very structure.

It is why we have people contesting the results of the last election. It is why we have calls for the destruction of the electoral college and the First and Second Amendments.

For the present, it is a clear and present danger to our Republic.

Jewels of Wisdom from Court Finding California Magazine Ban Unconstitutional

On 29 March, 2019, Judge Roger T. Benitez granted  a motion for summary judgement against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the case of Duncan v. Becerra.

Why should this matter to ALL American gun owners? Because Judge Benitez’ decision was a masterpiece of Constitutional reasoning that could reshape the legal AND public debate!

Judge Benitez ruled that California's Byzantine regulations and bans on firearms magazines of over 10 round capacity were unconstitutional under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

I have read the decision by Judge Benitez. It is well worth reading. At 86 pages, I doubt many will take the time and energy to read the densely argued decision.

Below, I have excerpted out a few of my choices of the ‘many’ jewels contained within this incredibly well-reasoned and written order. The selections are my own; others may disagree. They are in order, as found in the court document. I list the pages as an aid to others. Many will recognize the cogent arguments put forward by the Honorable Roger T. Benitez. They have been made by Second Amendment supporters for decades.

Judge Benitez first shows how the California magazine ban fails the simple and obvious test of constitutionality under the Heller decision.

Page 1: Individual liberty and freedom are not out moded concepts. “The judiciary is –and is often the only –protector of individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.” –Senator Ted Kennedy, Senate Hearing on the Nomination of Robert Bork, 1987.

Page 5: As evidenced by California’s own crime statistics, the need to protect one’s self and family from criminals in one’s home has not abated no matter how hard they try. Law enforcement cannot protect everyone. “A police force in a free state cannot provide everyone with bodyguards. Indeed, while some think guns cause violent crime, others think that wide-spread possession of guns on balance reduces violent crime. None of these policy arguments on either side affects what the Second Amendment says, that our Constitution protects ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.’” Silveira v. Lockyer, 328 F.3d 567, 588 (9th Cir. 2003) (Kleinfeld, J., dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc). However, California citizens, like United States citizens everywhere, enjoy the right to defend themselves with a firearm, if they so choose. To protect the home and hearth, citizens most often choose a handgun, while some choose rifles or shotguns.

Page 6: Regardless of current popularity, neither a legislature nor voters may trench on constitutional rights. “An unconstitutional statute adopted by a dozen jurisdictions is no less unconstitutional by virtue of its popularity.”

Judge Benitez has done the Republic a valuable service.

He has shown himself highly competent, and more importantly, seriously committed to the rule of law.

Real Solutions on Violent Crime with Firearms Requires Resolute Courage & Leadership-NOT Bias, Rhetoric and Innuendo

Gun control groups praising Connecticut’s Supreme Court decision to allow the Soto v. Bushmaster case to move forward are, ironically, using the court decision as an opportunity to perpetuate false narratives, the same misdeeds of which they accuse the firearms industry.

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence lashed out at the firearms industry to push an agenda of full of lies, omissions of fact and obfuscation. This campaign is clearly meant to score not only ‘cheap political points’ but to also deceive the public!

It’s an outright lie to impugn firearms manufacturers with inflammatory rhetoric. To reach real solutions to the most challenging questions requires facts. In trying to invoke the tragedy of Sandy Hook, Giffords Law Center is painting with a broad brush the actions of a criminal to gun owners and the entire firearms industry. It must not be overlooked that the criminal who committed the horrific acts at Sandy Hook became a criminal the moment he stole a firearm — well before he committed his unspeakable crimes.

No one — not a single person, nor company, nor the industry at large — has ever advocated that any crimes involving firearms are acceptable, tolerated or condoned. The implication otherwise is detestable at best, and unprincipled and amoral at worst.

The author of this column for the Giffords Law Center (“Truth and the gun lobby’s marketing lies,” April 6) accuses the firearms industry of playing fast and loose with facts in advertising. Here are the facts the author conveniently ignored when impugning gun owners, gun ownership and an entire industry.

Violent crimes committed with firearms have sharply fallen in the past quarter-century. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, homicides with firearms decreased 24 percent between 1991 and 2017. Department of Justice data show other crimes with firearms decreased 70 percent between 1993 and 2017. These precipitous drops occurred even as gun sales quintupled during the same time period.

Malicious accusations to score cheap rhetorical points serve no one’s interest. Rolling up our sleeves and working together toward real solutions is what matters.

Founding Fathers Statement on Freedom: If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, 1787

From me, FOAC officers and Members of the BOD, we wish you a safe and joyous Passover and Easter. 

Yours in Freedom,

Kim Stolfer