PA Bill Number: HB303
Title: In firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for firearms not to be carried without a license.
Description: In firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for firearms not to be carried without a license. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Sep 13, 2019
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday February 17th 2019 :: 02/17/2019
Yesterday, February 16, I participated in a second amendment rally and information day at the Langhorne Sportsmen’s Club in Langhorne Pennsylvania, which is just a stone’s throw from Philadelphia and New Jersey. I was joined by Joshua Prince, our attorney against the city of Pittsburgh and long time defender of our constitutional right to bear arms.
First I would like to complement and commend Dave Esposito and the officers and members of the Langhorne sportsmen’s club for their tremendous courtesy and accommodation in holding this event! In my opinion, there is no finer or more supportive gun club in Pennsylvania! They have a tremendous facility and they put out a tremendous newsletter and their service to the members and our constitutional freedoms is absolutely stunning and tremendous!
This past week has seen another hearing in the city of Pittsburgh which was orchestrated and organized by Councilwoman Darlene Harris on Tuesday, February 12. It was called a post agenda hearing and was designed to present experts to counsel to show them that the issues they were pursuing were not only wrong and illegal but also counterproductive. You can see the entire hearing at the link below:
The two top testifyiers at this hearing were Dr. John Lott and Dr. Charles Gallo along with a representative from the District Attorney’s Office and Sam DeMarco from Allegheny County Council, Kim Stolfer and Walt Gibson.
Dr. Lott and Dr. Gallo both presented strong and irrefutable evidence that this entire approach is flawed and destined to fail and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office was very clear that what they are doing is illegal in light of not only the law but 25 years of case precedent.
When Pittsburgh city Council had the opportunity to respond it was clear that Council President Bruce Krause, Councilman Corey O’Connor and Councilwoman Strasburger are all marching to a socialist and communist tone with reality coming in last place! The distain and arrogance shown by these three council people show the worst qualities of elected officials who are, apparently, unaccountable to any form of respectful behavior or realization limited authority and duty!
Finally it’s clear that no amount of fact or legal argument is going to deter them from trying to shred our constitutional rights or to act within the law. This is political terrorism of the highest order being pushed by the money from billionaires and anti-gun groups in Pennsylvania such as cease-fire PA who are encouraging this kind of irresponsible behavior and conduct!
The next step for this process is going to be for counsel to vote on this legislation. Supposedly there are amendments being prepared to try to fix some of the monstrous mistakes in this legislation but again, you can’t amend something that is totally illegal into being legal.
One of the interesting aspects of this post agenda hearing was that we were asked to compromise and work with them on modifying the legislation when the entire purpose of the legislation is mitigated by the law. So essentially, they were trying to manipulate all of us at the post agenda hearing to in some way compromise and effectively negate Pennsylvania’s preemption law. This is called holding a political gun at our head by intimating that if we don’t work with them they’re going to ban everything so why not work with them and been only a little when everything are doing is illegal and they were hoping that we didn’t recognize it!
So, the bottom line here is that we will not compromise and we will not undercut the efficacy of Pennsylvania law and the intent as well that local municipalities are prohibited from taking any action in this area of law!
We are prepared to act and we will act should the city continue to pursue illegal laws they have no authority to enact!
East German-Style Gun Confiscation Orders ("Extreme Risk Protection Orders") Coming to Pennsylvania
Gary Willis, of Ferndale, Maryland answers a knock at his door. It is to be the last thing he will ever do. Seconds later, gunfire erupts as the police gun Willis down in cold blood in his own home.
Mr. Willis would become the first victim of his state’s new “red-flag” (ERPO) gun law.
Now for the bad news: It’s coming to Pennsylvania. They’re calling it “gun control that even conservatives can support.”
But the truth is, conceding our gun rights doesn’t make the gun grabbers go away, it only emboldens them.
To quote Winston Churchill, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
The idea behind these dangerous new gun laws is that someone reports you, or “red flags” you to the government. A secret court (that you are not allowed to attend or have legal representation at) decides if you’re a “threat” and issues a gun confiscation order.
Just like that your gun rights are gone … no due process, no presumption of innocence, no legal defense.
Of course, when the police come to serve you and take your guns, they’re on high alert because they already believe you to be a threat … and they know you have guns.
And when you answer the door and try to assert your rights, or simply question what is happening, you get both barrels … literally. All it takes is for a nosy neighbor or disgruntled ex-spouse to call you in. Even if someone completely lies about you, there’s no due process for you to refute the allegations. It’s just like in a despotic Third World dictatorship where the secret police go around framing people and destroying lives to get themselves ahead.
Now, 13 states have already passed red-flag gun laws and Pennsylvania will be taking up the issue this session again.
Check out more on this issue: https://crimeresearch.org/2019/01/new-research-on-red-flag-laws-do-red-flag-laws-save-lives-or-reduce-crime/
Socialists in Office Now, Are Communists Next
The term, “socialist,” once akin to “Communist,” and thus associated with evil and national decay, has suddenly become “acceptable.”
Societal trash is always attracted to glamorous leftists who have never earned an honorable dime in their lives, yet who persistently denigrate honest wealth (while hiding their own).
It seems likely that before long, the current crop of trendy “socialists” will all similarly adopt the term, “Communist,” and once more, become the dimpled darlings of Hollywood and the liberal media.
The term, “Communist,” is rapidly shedding its well-earned negative image.
Anti-gun legislation the socialists endlessly promote is deceptively designed to sound “reasonable,” but like all Communist dogma it invariably promotes the notion that the power of the state is, and should be, limitless, while individual rights and liberties (“… endowed by our Creator,” does anyone remember that?) really don’t exist. To Communists (all atheists, by edict), human beings have no sanctity, nor dignity. We are just another dreary, expendable commodity.
Thus, the premise here is that people are not capable of possessing dangerous things. In fact, citizens who choose to keep and bear arms represent an automatic threat to the state.
How dare they think they have “rights?”
Communists (by whatever label they’re currently wearing) have mastered the art of propaganda, for more than a century. Our side, the liberty-loving among us who are addicted to freedom, capitalism, and individual responsibility, are often clueless, complicit, or both.
The problem is, of course, socialism/communism is inexorably “one-way.” When they seize power, they never surrender it voluntarily. They intend to abolish all our “inalienable” rights, starting with our Second Amendment.
We’ve already heard (in public) from many Democrat politicians that our 2nd Amendment must be repealed and done-away with since they’ve been pitifully unsuccessful in persuading us that it doesn’t mean what it plainly says.
How long will it be before we hear from these same mouths that our entire Constitution needs to be abolished and replaced with a Soviet-style “Master Plan?” After all, our Constitution has already been amended twenty-seven times. Isn’t it time to just scrap it altogether?
It’s important to remember that the framers of the U.S. Constitution, the founders of our free Republic, structured a Nation on the principles of Individualism, not those of Socialism, Communism or Collectivism. The Radical Left, brazenly attempting to take over our Country, as it is gaining control over the Democratic Party, attempts to exercise absolute control over public discussion and discourse–presumptuously, sanctimoniously, presuming to be the voice of both sanity and morality. The mainstream media follows suit, indoctrinating the public in the new social, economic, political, and legal order, predicated on the principles of Socialism, Communism or Collectivism.
Are Anti-Gun-Rights Activists Drunk with Power?
In the incessant effort to disarm the American public and turn the nation socialist—evincing a design to reduce us under absolute despotism—Congress and the states, with mass media and misguided countrymen in tow, have been using the joy of alcohol to take your firearms.
They have come a long way, boiling the frog slowly under the radar, but that comes as no surprise (I hope). Permits/licenses for carrying firearms concealed already come with a ban on possession in some states where businesses serve alcohol. There’s no inherent danger in owning sidearms in a restaurant, especially if you don’t consume alcohol (the typical requirement), but the gun ban tied to the eating ban is expanding across the nation. Thankfully ‘not’ in Pennsylvania YET!
Guns and Cars
A close parallel and “good next step” to the no-drinking restaurant ban for antis is the frequent demand to treat guns the same way we treat vehicles. Aside from the obvious license and registration elements getting all the attention, the restriction on drinking and driving is an underplayed back story here.
If you can’t operate a car with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08, easily reached after a few beers, how could you possibly justify possession of “dangerous loaded handguns” under similar intoxication?
So how can “we” (the collective socialist “we” where government is “we” enforcing its notions through the use of armed force) allow “you” (the proletariat under control for the good of society) be “allowed” (that dangerous word, allowed, implying your freedom exists because someone else says so, not because you are free to act), to possess arms at the same time you possess enough alcohol to incapacitate the Coast Guard? The left wing already has announced plans to limit how much ammo you ought to be “allowed” to have. A full gallon of bourbon?
If you suspect regulating your alcohol possession, and tying it to your gun possession seems far-fetched, think of it in context of the larger issue of mental health and capacity to safely own and operate, well, anything.
The rules already exist, at the federal and state level for banning guns based on possession of other inebriants, Schedule 1 drugs. Work is underway to add people to the banned list based on prior legal prescriptions. The attempt was made to ban gun ownership based on a secret police list (secret police? in America?) for air travel (which failed, fortunately, for now).
You are also banned from gun possession if anyone living in your home is a prohibited possessor because that person can’t have access to even a single round of ammunition. So any gun or ammo out in the open, where it might be used, puts you in felony violation of the law (without any harm or actual malum in se crime done). But wait, there’s more. We’re way beyond beer here.
Licensing ‘Purchase/Possession of Firearms’ – Why it’s Bad – Massachusetts Example
In Massachusetts, all potential firearms owners are required to obtain a Firearms Identification card. Even licenses for the possession of a shotgun or rifle are effectively may-issue, with local law enforcement having overwhelming discretion on who may or may not possess a firearm.
Under Massachusetts state law, a person denied a FOID card as the result of a conviction for certain misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to two and a half years in prison are eligible to appeal the denial to the state Firearms Licensing Review Board.
Example of Abuse of Power: In 2013, Richard Phipps of Boston applied for a license to carry in order to exercise his right to self-defense. The Boston Police issued Phipps a firearms license that was restricted to “target and hunting.”
A determined Phipps then wrote a letter to Lt. John McDonough, commander of the Boston Police Department’s licensing unit, that explained his need for a unrestricted license to carry, citing that “(1) he is a business owner, (2) he regularly makes deposits of large sums of money, (3) he frequently must visit high crime areas in Roxbury and Dorchester, and (4) he had been the victim of crime in the past in the vicinity of his business after closing the store.” McDonough denied Phipps’s request for a change in license.
Still determined to obtain a license to carry, Phipps called the Boston Police licensing unit and met in person with McDonough. Following the meeting, the Boston Police revoked Phipps’s restricted firearms license outright.
On January 30, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts ruled in Phipps’s favor and ordered the Boston Police to issue Phipps an unrestricted license to carry. The court explained,
Because Phipps has demonstrated by substantial evidence his need to protect himself and his retail business, and because the department failed to show that it restricted and revoked his license to carry a firearm for objective reasons related to public safety, the department was without reasonable grounds to conclude he was an unsuitable person to possess a firearm for any lawful purpose.
Taking a swipe at the executive branch, the court went on to note, “The actions of the commissioner challenged here were arbitrary and capricious, in that the reasons given for the revocation and restriction of Phipps’s license to carry a firearm bear no reasonable nexus to public safety.”
It is encouraging that in some instances the Massachusetts courts have been willing to protect the rights of citizens from over-zealous anti-gun bureaucrats. However, situations where individual rights must be constantly vindicated through the courts at public and private expense due to a recalcitrant executive branch is no one’s idea of good governance.
Gun owners in Pennsylvania should take note of the mess in Massachusetts. Anti-gun activists peddle firearms licensing as “a simple way to make sure guns are purchased and used by responsible people,” few objective observers would characterize Massachusetts’s ongoing FID debacle as “simple.”
Update on Bump Stock Legal Actions**
FOIA Seeks ATF Documents after Technical Expert Admits ‘Machinegun’ Ruling Political
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- A Freedom of Information Act Request filed with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Monday seeks presentation and other materials proving bureau decisions to reclassify firearm accessories as machineguns were political and contrary to statutory law, technical evaluations and advice of legal counsel. The request was filed by Stamboulieh Law, PLLC, on behalf of firearms designer Len Savage, President, Historic Arms, LLC.
The FOIA request seeks within 20 business days:
“1) Documents and all other tangible things, including but not limited to, emails, PowerPoint presentations, and communications related to a briefing at the Chief Counsel’s Office wherein a written brief and PowerPoint presentation, which discussed “automatically” and “single function of a trigger” was discussed (see attached Declaration of Rick Vasquez attached as Exhibit “1”, paragraphs 13 and 14);
“2) And, any other such similar briefings, which discussed Historic Arms, LLC, its products, and/or its president, Len Savage.”
The reason behind the request is some startling testimony made in a Verified Declaration by former ATF employee Richard Vasquez in the cases of Guedes v. BATFE/Firearms Policy Coalition v. Matthew Whitaker, filed Friday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to having his expert qualifications recognized by federal courts, Vasquez declared that :
“[O]ver my 14-year tenure, I held the titles of Senior Technical Expert, Assistant Chief of the Firearms Technology Branch (‘FTB’) Acting Chief of the FTB, and Acting Chief of the Firearms Training Branch.”
In his sworn statement, Vasquez cited a briefing from several years back for then-ATF Acting Director Michael Sullivan and notes:
“During the briefing, the Chief Counsel’s Office provided a written brief and a PowerPoint presentation, which discussed ‘automatically’ and ‘single function of a trigger.’ The brief and PowerPoint presentation, based on the intent of Congress and the statutory text, detailed how even the Akins Accelerator was not a machinegun. However, Acting Director Sullivan decided, against the advice of the Chief Counsel’s Office, to declare the Akins Accelerator a machinegun.”
That the boss would go against qualified experts and legal counsel is not surprising to those who followed the anti-gun enforcement machinations of the George W. Bush political nominee dubbed “Maximum Mike” for going after strong sentences. Thanks to leadership by a coalition of gun owner rights advocates:
“Sullivan's confirmation was opposed by gun rights groups such as the Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. The NRA did not categorically state its opposition to the confirmation of Mr. Sullivan but expressed its concern over the ATF's ‘overly restrictive legal interpretations’ and ‘overly zealous enforcement activities.’”
This was the unelected functionary who zealously overruled legal counsel and technical advice that led us to not only the developer of the Akins Accelerator being financially destroyed but now to a situation where owners of devices like “bump stocks” will face felony charges if they do not surrender or destroy their property. This smells more like a conspiracy to deprive citizens of rights than anything else.
“It is my belief and understanding that the written brief and PowerPoint presentation of the Chief Counsel’s Office, as well as other communications and determinations on ‘automatic’ and ‘single function of the trigger,’ still exist within ATF and were never mentioned nor addressed during the rulemaking in this matter or the Final Rule,” Vasquez asserted, further admitting “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
Why weren't they addressed?
Those are the documents Savage and Stamboulieh are determined to obtain and make public. They should have a significant bearing on another action Stamboulieh is currently arguing, the case over the Trump “bump stock ban” involving, among other complaints, my re-engineered-to-be-compliant Akins Accelerator.
The court has scheduled a hearing next Tuesday for oral arguments on the motion for a preliminary injunction in that case.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
Anti-Gunner Statement on Gun Ownership: “What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that's not cool, that it's not acceptable, it's not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes. . . . One thing that I think is clear with young people, and with adults as well, is that we just have to be repetitive about this. . . . We need to do this every day of the week, every school, at every level, and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.” ~ A young Eric Holder, speaking to the Woman’s National Democratic Club in 1995, as televised on CSPAN in 1995—fourteen years before President Barack Obama appointed him as Attorney General, in Obama’s Administration.”
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
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President