proposed laws

PA Bill Number: SB293

Title: In actions, proceedings and other matters generally, providing for extreme risk protection orders.

Description: In actions, proceedings and other matters generally, providing for extreme risk protection orders. ...

Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY

Last Action Date: Feb 14, 2019

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FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday January 27th 2019 :: 01/27/2019

First, I want to apologize to everyone for not getting out our weekly newsletter last weekend. The reason for this was because of the Internet cabal of Verizon, Yahoo, and AOL which a few days before bounced thousands of our messages without any warning with a lame excuse of spam or volume for conduct we have engaged in for years in the same way. It has taken weeks to try to sort out the reasoning behind this and I want to take this opportunity to explain to you what’s going on with these three entities.

For those who don’t know, Verizon owns AOL and Yahoo. It seems, from what we experienced, that Yahoo is managing the email for all three entities. There has been turmoil behind the scenes with layoffs and restructuring going on.

In the midst of all this, FOAC was silenced by automated processes that could not distinguish between solicited email and spam, nor did anyone seem to care. These automated processes are not only discriminatory but leave the generator of the email with little options to try and resolve the reasoning and problem.  Through the tireless efforts of our website administrator - Dave Dalton - we were able to pierce this 'cone of silence' and, hopefully, get some relief.

This is the first attempt we’ve been able to make to get out information since the problem was supposedly resolved. If you are reading this online and did not receive your weekly newsletter then we suggest you contact your ISP and insist they resolve this problem in the strongest possible terms!

Pittsburgh’s Continuing Assault on The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

On January 24th Pittsburgh Council held an open hearing to allow for public comment on their gun-control bills in the city County building. What unfolded was an epic example of government out of control wherein all bathrooms were blocked off there was no accommodations made for the handicapped (ADA compliant) and citizens were herded into amusement park style lines with little coordination and organization!

This was all achieved by moving the public hearing from Council Chambers to the first-floor lobby based, ostensibly, on fears there would be too many people show up and that occupancy limitations required it. In reality the occupancy limits were the same in the lobby as it was in the Council chambers and this was a naked attempt to try to intimidate citizens from testifying, which worked as a number of people walked out prior to testifying. On top of that, the building was closed down to any new entrance leaving other people waiting outside, predominantly gunowners, and prevented them from testifying because of the so-called occupancy limits even though in the past other events and hearings were held in Council chambers that had far more participants.

This was in-your-face government with a complete disregard for the passions and beliefs of citizens as well as our constitutional rights!

Overview of Pennsylvania Preemption Issues and The Current Fight with Pittsburgh!

In 1996, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152, 156 (Pa. 1996), where the City of Pittsburgh was a party, found that Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120 precluded all municipalities from regulating firearms and ammunition. It must be noted that one of the provisions involved in the Ortiz case was an “assault weapon ban” which is almost identical to proposals 2018-1218 and 2018-1219.

On December 14, 2018, Mayor William Peduto, Councilman Corey O’Connor, and Councilwoman Strassburger announced that they were going to formally introduce three proposals regulating firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories on December 18, 2018. During that announcement, Mayor Peduto and Councilwoman Strassburger acknowledged that such proposals were preempted by state law but that they were going to do it anyway. On December 17, 2018, Firearms Industry Consulting Group, on behalf of Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League and Firearm Owners Against Crime, sent a 5-page letter to Mayor Peduto and City Council explaining the unlawful nature of any such proposals and demanding that they not be formally introduced. On December 18, 2018, the Pittsburgh City Council formally introduced the proposals as 2018-1218, 2018-1219, and 2018-1220.

On January 2, 2019, in response to a gun rights rally to held on January 7, 2019, the City Council erected a sign in front of the City-County building stating that it was unlawful to possess a firearm within the City-County Building. On January 3, 2019, Firearms Industry Consulting Group, on behalf of Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League and Firearm Owners Against Crime, sent a new letter to Mayor Peduto and City Council advising as to the unlawful nature of the sign, as it failed to advise individuals, as required by 18 Pa.C.S. 913(e), that lockers must be made available, free of charge, to secure their firearms and dangerous weapons in the City-County Building. Later on, January 3, 2019, Mayor Peduto himself declared that firearms are “not permitted in the building.” https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/01/03/gun-rights-advocates-pittsburgh-city-county-building-rally-preparations.

On January 7, 2019, City Councilwoman Strassburger declared “My council colleagues and the mayor and I are aware of the state laws that are on the books, and we happen to strongly disagree with them [referring to Pennsylvania’s preemption law prohibiting municipalities from regulating firearms]. If there’s not political will to make change, we’re ready and willing to make changes through the court system.” https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/14479129-74/armed-protesters-pillory-peduto-during-peaceful-rally-downtown-pittsburgh. On January 9, 2019, District Attorney Zappala sent a letter to City Council advising that “City Council does not have the authority to pass such legislation.” On January 15, 2019, after City Council acknowledged receipt of District Attorney Zappala’s letter, Councilman Corey O’Connor told reporters that “[DA Zappala] has every right to his own opinion, we are still going to move forward” and “[a]t this point we are going to pass our bills, move forward. Whatever happens after that we will find out.” https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/01/15/allegheny-county-district-attorney-pittsburgh-city-council-gun-legislation-letter. Later on, January 15, 2019, Mayor Peduto, after receiving and reviewing District Attorney Zappala’s letter, told reporters that “[i]f [DA Zappala] wants to be city solicitor, he has to move into the city and apply, and I’d consider his resume. Otherwise, he should be a district attorney.” https://www.wtae.com/article/da-zappala-pittsburgh-city-council-does-not-have-authority-to-pass-gun-legislation-restricting-types-weapons/25902756.[DA Zappala]r Peduto makes these statements is also available here - corporated herein as Exhibit R.nd out."

Accordingly, in knowing violation of Article 1, Section 21 and Section 25 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 901, 902, 903, 913, 5301, and 6120, Mayor Peduto and the City Councilmembers have attempted, solicited, and conspired to introduced and have introduced proposals 2018-1218, 2018-1219, and 2018-1220, which are preempted by Article 1, Section 21 and Section 25 and 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, for the sole purpose of denying or otherwise impeding individuals residing in or traveling through Pittsburgh the exercise or enjoyment of their rights and privileges.

As shown above, Pittsburgh is trying to dice up constitutional freedoms and make them subject to local politics which is a power that is denied to them by the Pennsylvania and US constitutions. Rights cannot be held hostage to local politics and that is why there is an equal protections clause in each Constitution. It is clear, as shown above, that Pittsburgh is working in concert with anti-gun groups who wish to effectively negate constitutional freedoms by using activist court judges to overrule hundreds of years of precedential decisions!

Thus, what is playing out in front of our eyes is Third World nation politics with government attempting to deny citizens their rights by intimidation and arrogance.

SO, how many more local laws do you think are coming and WHERE will YOU draw the line on your personal involvement?

FAKE News: NBC EXPOSED – has a $400 million relationship with BuzzFeed

The recent debacle regarding the Mueller debunked story by BuzzFeed that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress has now exposed the even bigger story – the COLLUSION in the Media!

Gun owners know NBC and MSNBC and BuzzFeed as enemies of the 2nd Amendment and lawful gun ownership so it should come as little surprise that NBC essentially owns BuzzFeed.

So here’s a question; IF there is NO independence in the media does this not mean that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the 2nd Amendment and gun owners to get ‘fair’ treatment?

WHEN was the last time you saw a ‘self-defense’ story on these news outlets?

Do you remember when these outlets (Katie Couric) set up Virginia Gun Owners to look stupid in an Interview?

Have you EVER researched Tom Brokaw and Gun Control?

Many times, when we go to gun clubs to talk, it seems that gun owners are skeptical of this kind of collusion behind the scenes.

Just as President Trump is facing a prejudiced and biased media that ‘very same biased media’ has abused gun owners and manipulated the 2nd Amendment debate for 50 years utilizing propaganda techniques that would make Stalin smile! This is WHY we have 30,000+ gun laws. SO, how many more laws do you think are coming and WHERE will YOU draw the line on your personal involvement?

Voter Fraud is REAL: Texas AG Exposes Illegal Immigrant Voting

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that the state has discovered 95,000 non-citizens on the voter rolls going back to 1996, 58,000 of whom have voted in at least one Texas election  -- an announcement likely to raise fresh concerns about the prospect of voter fraud.

Texas has some of the toughest voter ID laws in the nation and has been one of the main battlegrounds in the Republican-led fight against alleged voter fraud. The office, in a statement, said that 33 people were prosecuted for voter fraud last year, and 97 were prosecuted between 2005-17. There are 16 million people in Texas registered to vote.

Possible Voter Fraud Probed In Tight House Carolina House Race

“Every single instance of illegal voting threatens democracy in our state and deprives individual Texans of their voice,” Paxton said in a statement.

The New York Times reported that the findings were a result of of an 11-month investigation into records at the Texas Department of Public Safety. Gov. Greg Abbott praised the findings and hinted at future legislation to crack down on voter fraud.

"I support prosecution where appropriate. The State will work on legislation to safeguard against these illegal practices," Abbott tweeted.

The revelation is likely to have national consequences and stir debate on the role and impact of voter fraud. President Trump created a commission in 2017 to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 election. But it was eventually dismantled by Trump after the group faced lawsuits, opposition from states (including Pennsylvania) and in-fighting among commission members.

ATF Bump Stock Rule Demonstrates the Dangers Inherent in Administrative Actions

American gun owners have historically given little thought to the relationship between Congressional legislation and Administrative action. That must change. The new ATF Rule makes clear that the public must become aware of the intricacies of Governmental action or the American people face losing their sacred fundamental rights and liberties. The American people should have learned long ago of the danger posed to a free Republic through the insinuation of so-called “elites” into the political process. What ensues is oft, appropriately referred to, as “the tyranny of experts.”

How has this come about? It has come about due to the manner in which our Federal Government operates. The only true “checks and balances” in our Nation are those that rest in the enumerated rights and liberties of the American people, and singularly in the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

If we lose that basic, inherent right, we have lost everything. That is not hyperbole. That is fact.

Congress makes law, yes. But, in faithfully executing Congressional statute, the Executive Branch must turn Congressional legislation into operational rules. That is the job of Executive agencies.

Congressional legislation provides the mandate through which agencies act. Agencies promulgate rules, allowing for implementation of law. However, that mandate isn’t open-ended. Congressional legislation establishes the parameters beyond which the Executive Branch must not venture. Yet, with disturbing regularity, we see Presidents, through the Executive agencies they preside over, overstepping their Constitutional authority.

The ATF Rule, as promulgated, sets forth that bump stock modifications of semiautomatic rifles convert semiautomatic rifles into machine guns because only one pull of the trigger is required to initiate multiple firing of the weapon. But that statement is either true or it is false.

If true, then the semiautomatic firearm is, in fact, a machine gun. If not, then, the semiautomatic firearm remains a semiautomatic firearm because it is semiautomatic in operation.

The DOJ-ATF Rule is nothing more than illegal Executive Branch edict. Its presence makes a mockery of law. It is a travesty. If allowed to stand, it amounts to the usurpation of our entire system of laws and justice, and legal jurisprudence.

ATF Rule Banning Bump Stocks Puts a Total Ban on ALL Semiautomatic Weapons Next.

If allowed to stand, this ATF Rule dangerously undermines the Second Amendment because the Rule unlawfully mixes semiautomatic firearms and machine guns. If rapidity of fire becomes the de facto if tacit but clearly salient factor and new rule-made—as opposed to Congressional enacted—definition of ‘machine gun,’ which presently defines the expression,' machine gun,' in terms of manner of operation, not performance, then all semiautomatic firearms will inevitably and invariably be linked into the nomenclature of ‘machine gun.’

If DOJ-ATF is allowed to get away with this subterfuge, then it is but a small step from a total ban on “bump stocks” to a total ban on all semiautomatic firearms.

We urge all Pennsylvanians, who support the Second Amendment, to sign the Petition, to overturn the ATF Rule that bans “bump stocks.”

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reverse-bump-stock-ban-against-firearm-parts

ERPO Red Flag Gun Laws - Public Safety or Abuse of the Innocent?

They are called Extreme-Risk Protection Orders. Some people call them Red-Flag Gun Confiscation. Whatever you call it, we’re supposed to call the cops and stop a bad man with a gun before he hurts someone. That sounds more like the script from a cop-drama on TV than what happens in real life. In practice, these laws are designed for abuse. We’ve already seen them fail to stop violent crime. We’ve also seen police kill gun owners during early morning Red Flag raids. At best, innocent individuals have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get their rights restored after they’ve been served with a red-flag order.

Doctors and judges see a lot of people. They are highly educated and trained for that job. They have lots of experience in exercising their professional judgment. They should be in an excellent position to tell if one of their patients or clients was going to be violent. Unfortunately, both doctors and judges track record at predicting violence is horrible.

We looked at mass murderers during the last two decades. There is nothing subtle about their mental condition, and almost two-thirds of them had psychiatric counseling. Most had previous contacts with law enforcement as well. In the last twenty years, only one of these individuals was clinically diagnosed and adjudicated as a danger to himself or others. We have a terrible record of predicting violent behavior even when we’re looking at our most violent citizens. Our track record is worse when we look at ordinary people.

Today, we want a court judge to do the impossible with ERPO/Red Flag laws. Your vindictive relative can make a phone call based on a post in social media. You’ll have your firearms confiscated, at no cost to them, but at the cost of tens-of-thousands of dollars to you, or worse. There’ve already been gun owners killed during midnight police raids instigated by a Red Flag complaint. The dead gun owner had no record of violent or criminal behavior.

Red Flag laws lead to firearms confiscation on the basis of an accusation. Gun owners accused under Red-Flag laws are involved in the legal system before they have any chance to submit facts in front of a judge. That one-sided argument means these laws are designed for abuse.

Domestic abusers use Red-Flag laws to disarm their innocent partners. Does confiscating the tools of self-defense make the abused partner safer or does it leave the innocent partner more vulnerable? Red-flag laws let abusers subjugate their victims in ways the abusers could never accomplish on their own.

A vindictive spouse uses Red-Flag laws as a legal weapon during a divorce and custody fight. Does that really benefit anyone…other than the lawyers? We might want to save lives, but getting the police involved has real risks.

Do these ERPO/Red Flag Laws work? Well, NOT according to Dr. John Lott who even indicates data suggesting that they may increase incidents of rape.

https://crimeresearch.org/2019/01/new-research-on-red-flag-laws-do-red-flag-laws-save-lives-or-reduce-crime/

Saving lives doesn’t fit the story that reporters or politicians want to sell and neither does showing how their pet project is failing, better to bury ‘that’ story. Red flag gun confiscation laws are more about the bigoted story that guns and gun owners are evil than about saving lives and Constitutional Due Process.

Universal Background Checks don’t work, so why the push for even more?

I’ve made mistakes before and I’ll probably make some again. That is why it’s important to be aware and skeptical as we try new ideas. There is a time for persistence and a time to ask if you’re headed in the right direction. All of that came to mind as I read about the US House of Representatives proposing universal background checks for firearms owners. These background checks have failed too many times to try them again.

The fundamental failure of a background check is that it looks backward. Mass murder is not a long-term career path. Background checks do nothing to stop a first-time mass murderer. Here are the most recent examples.

2018

  • The mass murderer who killed 12 people at a country western bar in Thousand Oaks, California passed his background checks..several times.
  • The mass murderer who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue passed his background checks for each weapon he owned.
  • The mass murderer who killed four people in an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper office purchased his firearms legally and passed his background checks.
  • The student who killed 10 people in his El Paso, Texas high school stole his guns. He took the legally owned guns from his father without permission, so background check laws would not have stopped this murder.
  • The schizophrenic who murdered 4 people at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee was disarmed after he made threats. In a federal lawsuit, the murderer’s father said he was never told that his son was a prohibited person and not allowed to have guns.
  • The murderer at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida passed his background checks even though he had many psychological counseling sessions and had been reported to the school, to local police, and to the FBI.

2017

  • The murderer at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 27 people after passing his background checks. He should have been barred from getting a gun since he was treated for mental illness, convicted of domestic violence, and dishonorably discharged from the US Air Force. The Air Force never submitted his criminal records to the national background check system.
  • The murderer at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas killed 59 people after buying his firearms legally and passing a background check for each gun he used.

I could go on for hundreds of examples but I fear you wouldn’t read them. If this is what background checks do for us, then we should run from them rather than embrace more of the same. It is clear that background checks don’t stop mass murders.

Do mandatory background checks reduce other violent crimes? No other state does gun-control as much and as hard as California. California is rated the first in the nation for gun-control. Background check requirements were imposed in California three decades ago and should have worked there if they would work anywhere.

Sociologists and criminologists published a report in the Annals of Epidemiology where they compared California to other states which hadn’t mandated background checks. Neither mandatory background checks nor firearms prohibition for misdemeanor crimes reduced gun homicide or suicide in California. In fact, the California homicide rate rose by 16 percent from 2014 to 2016. California gun-control doesn’t work.

Why do politicians propose failed ideas over and over again?

For the politician, background checks don’t have to make our streets safer. All they have to do is sound good on TV. Most of us don’t do our homework. We buy our ideas the same way we buy knives on the shopping channel at 2 in the morning. We buy gun-control because it sounds good and is sold with enthusiasm.

Mass murderers and other criminals don’t follow our gun laws. Stop pretending they do because our gullibility is getting us killed. Here is the downside to gun-control and background checks.

Licensed concealed carry holders are among the most law-abiding and non-violent groups of people on the planet. Law abiding citizens use legally owned firearms for self-defense thousands of times a day. Disarming even a few honest gun owners us will leave more of us as disarmed victims of criminal violence. The cost of that will be measured in lives lost.

There are no exemptions in our gun laws for need. There is no exemption for the young woman who has a stalker and suddenly needs a gun for protection. There is no exemption for the sexual assault victim who now wants a firearm to feel secure when she is home alone. It is illegal to give these innocent and honest people a tool for self-defense until the state approves. The victim’s needs come second after the state has its mandatory background checks..and its fees.

The time to stop and turn around is when you realize you’ve made a mistake. Universal background checks sound good but have already and will continue to cost even more lives if they get more inclusive.

Important Quote: "The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people, which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution." Thomas Jefferson, (1787)

Yours in Freedom!

Kim Stolfer, President