PA Bill Number: SB897
Title: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for certain drug offenses committed with firearms.
Description: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for certain drug offenses committed with firearms. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Oct 15, 2019
Concealed Carry Permit After Hours Hosted by PA State Rep Ryan Warner - 10/24/2019
Connellsville City Hall 110 N. Arch St., Connellsville, PA
Turn It Red Rally - 10/24/2019
19 N (Event Center) 19 N Main Street, Washington, PA
Concealed Carry Seminar Hosted by PA State Rep Bud Cook - 10/24/2019
California Hill Gun Club 150 California Dr, California, PA
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday July 21st 2019 :: 07/21/2019
One of the most interesting things in the past few weeks has been the curtailment of the 24/7 advocacy for more gun control. The newsfeeds seem to have lost interest for some reason. The reckless and factually challenged articles seem more and more difficult to find as do the “if it bleeds it leads” kind of shrill reporting of every tragic incident! So is this because violent crime with firearms is really down? If it is down could it be, in part, connected to this shrill advocacy for gun control?
Let’s look at the above in a different way, shall we? It is well known in media circles, behind-the-scenes, that they intentionally downplay incidents of self-defense because of their two-dimensional sky is falling concerns over promoting what they believe would be vigilantism! Also, up until Netflix decided that they were going to promote teen suicides the media routinely stayed away from discussing this issue because of fears of copycatting. Interestingly, teen suicides have gone up by some reports as much as 30% since the Netflix series began and while this is not scientific it seems many are anecdotally connecting the dots with this series.
So, let’s look at the issue of copycatting, and whether or not the constant and unrelenting drumbeat for gun control could be fanning the flames of violent crime especially mass killings. To show this concept in perspective let’s take a look at the recent incidents of people licking ice cream, then putting the package back on the shelf, and the promotion of it by the media. It began to be a fad that circulated across the country and has even expanded into other products such as bottled beverages, etc. so could part of the problem with violent crime with firearms be the promotion of it by media accounts and reports?
We know that copycatting is a real phenomena, especially in the case of mass killings and this is based on accounts of the killers as well as things such as the manifesto by the killers in the Columbine incident. In the most recent mass killing in New Zealand the murderer actually referenced other killings and his intent to foster the promotion of gun control and not only New Zealand but also America.
So, with all of the above does the media bear any responsibility in the promotion of violence in our society? Does the constant violence in music videos, movies, and even broadcast TV contribute in any way to this breakdown in societies morals and inhibitions? What about social media where we have terrorists and violent groups such as Antifa that seem to be immune to the controls placed on conservative postings.
It’s not that were advocating, God forbid, for government censorship! But as Second Amendment supporters are told all the time that with rights come responsibilities why does it seem that supporters of the First Amendment seem to resent and resist any controls that would be responsible and limit the impact of the propaganda that they’ve spew nearly every minute? In any debate that I’ve had, every single supporter of the First Amendment has been openly appalled when I suggested that government should place the same level of control on the First Amendment that exists on the Second Amendment! These First Amendment supporters seem to think that when it comes to rights that the Second Amendment doesn’t qualify and yet it’s clear from academic studies and a growing number of anecdotal points that the First Amendment and our media is a contributor to the violence in our society and perhaps it’s time for them to recognize the role and stop advocating for the surrender of law-abiding citizens rights and hold the perpetrators accountable!
Pittsburgh Preemption Lawsuit Fight Continues
The anti-gun administration of the City of Pittsburgh along with their legal lackeys from the Everytown organization continue to try and strangle the truth and bankrupt our legal effort by specious challenges to things like standing! The truth and reality seem to be a distant cousin to the insulting harangue that we see coming out of every argument and brief produced by the legal misfits supporting the actions of the City of Pittsburgh!
No local municipality ought to be allowed, nor should they even consider trying, to strip a man or woman of their innate right to bear arms based on some obscure local ordinance that is not constitutional yet that is exactly what the City of Pittsburgh is trying to do.
Remember that Mayor Peduto and Pittsburgh City Council are ‘not’ targeting violent criminals but the average law-abiding citizen who not only lives in the City of Pittsburgh but even transits through the city.
They’re people who are being attacked simply because they wish to use their right to bear arms. To fail to challenge these ordinances would empower every political demagogue in cities and local municipalities across Pennsylvania to strip people of their inalienable right to bear arms based on prejudice, bias, and unconstitutional local laws.
It seems many gun owners think that all we have to do is file some paperwork, wait in line, and bang the “Shall not be Infringed” drum. While that would be nice, that simply isn’t how it works. In order to stop this our attorney must craft answers to every challenge of the anti-gun attorneys. Our attorney, Joshua Prince, must fashion our briefs in light of the statements that the City of Pittsburgh intends to continue their preemption fight all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Thanks to you and other supporters we’ve already raised significant support towards this effort!
While this is a great step forward, we (FOAC) must ask for your continued support or we risk not being able to continue this fight as this legal effort has been enormously expensive!
In order for us to continue this fight, we need your ask for your continued help right now! Please donate if you can at this link: https://foac-pac.org/Donate
Guest Article: David Codrea
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Psychiatric diagnoses are ‘scientifically meaningless’ in treating mental health,” a summary analysis of University of Liverpool research by StudyFinds reported Tuesday. The new findings are published in the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” which “is considered the definitive guide for mental health professionals, and provides descriptions for all mental health problems and their symptoms.”
What are they saying here?
Essentially, “a significant amount of overlap” means disorder diagnoses “tell us little to nothing about the individual patient and what type of treatments they will need [and] this diagnostic labeling approach is ‘a disingenuous categorical system.’”
“Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice.”
Liberty advocates concerned about due process-denying gun confiscations empowered by “red flag laws” should see the danger of this, when even the experts can’t agree on the basics. Add to that the American Psychiatric Association’s own “Position Statement on Firearm Access, Acts of Violence and the Relationship to Mental Illness and Mental Health Services.”
Its advocacy platform includes registration-enabling background checks, “smart” guns, storage requirements, “gun-free” zones, doctor-patient boundary violations, and tax-funded anti-gun “studies,” all outside the scope of the training and credentialing of those making these proposals.
Yet despite all that, APA admits:
“Only a small proportion of individuals with a mental disorder pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.”
In other words, they can’t justify their political biases scientifically but they still want the government to pass citizen disarmament laws over everybody. That’s even though they admit the problem is minimal and the latest findings conclude what they’ve been doing all along stigmatizes.
That's just half the equation. Let’s not forget the back end to disarming someone due to psychiatric evaluations: How will rights be restored when there is no longer a compelling mental health reason to deny them?
The answer is they probably won't be, although you won't hear that from the gun-grabbers or from our so-called “gun rights leaders” looking to appease the mob by offering “mental health” concessions.
Ask yourself: Who are the psychiatric evaluators, the risk management administrators and the insurers willing to subject themselves to malpractice liabilities should a “disabled” person they later proclaim “fit” to once more own a gun be misdiagnosed and then shoots someone? The default bias – not to mention the financial and licensing incentives – will be to “err on the side of caution.”
So should we just ignore crazy people and let them all have guns? Wouldn’t that be just plain nuts?
What’s really insane is taking firearms away from a known danger and then leaving him free to stalk among us. It’s not like he couldn’t get more guns, as Chicago homicide headlines prove to us every weekend, or choose other ways to bring the hurt.
The hard but undeniable truth is, anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. In order to involuntarily segregate someone from society, full due process and proof beyond a reasonable doubt are called for. The say-so of motivated third parties who may have a conflict of interest may be enough to get an investigation started, but that’s all.
It’s also true that we can’t just ignore mental health, but diagnoses and treatments need to be acknowledged as tools of a still-developing and thus inconclusive art. And they must absolutely be separated from political agendas.
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. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.
Academic Con Job Surfaces Again: Agenda-driven pediatricians assure us that “Universal Background Checks” mean fewer “children” killed with guns.
ABC News loudly proclaims in a Wednesday “report” -- “Child gun deaths lower in states with stricter gun laws” showcasing a new “study” rehashing old lies. Here we go again with another clairvoyant pediatrician making preposterous claims that so-called “universal background checks,” will save young people.
Playing fast and loose with talking point terminology is evident right out of the starting gate, with the headline and the assertion that “More than 10 children die from firearms every day, and another 50 are injured by firearms daily.” Unless those firearms are self-animated and have wills of their own, intentionally leaving out the human actor is a deliberate deception.
This time the “researchers” are judging the U.S. against “high-income countries,” a term fabricated for a purpose. Obama called them “advanced countries.” Some years back they were using the equally meaningless “highly developed countries” swindle until it was made obvious they were cherry-picking nations and deliberately leaving out some in order to “make their case.”
They also conveniently ignore countries with much stricter “gun laws” that have higher murder rates and numbers. The distinction is important because the headline says “deaths” are “lower” in more restrictive states, while the “study” synopsis says they have a “lower rate.” That means a high-population state can have plenty more murders than a low-population state yet claim a much lower rate, as any typical weekend in Chicago will demonstrate.
Note wherever you look, the vast majority of homicides committed with firearms take place in Democrat-controlled urban areas. If you take those out of the equation, the fact that it’s not the guns will be so obvious even a “progressive” pediatrician could see it – if she wanted to.
Speaking of which, of the “21,000 children” they say “died from guns” [!] we find “There were 14,583 deaths for 18-21-year-olds…”
Good grief, we’re talking gang-bangers here. At least that puts to the lie any notion that “background checks” will be “universal.” We’re talking people old enough to vote, to marry, to serve in the military and on many police forces.
Finally, there’s a point on which we can agree. Ultimately, it’s not a political debate for gun owners who will not disarm regardless of whatever evil and foolish laws are enacted because we know the best way to ensure the security of a free state and keep everyone safe hinges on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
A Tale of Two States on Firearm Background Check Law Violations by Government
Why are Laws on Firearm Background Checks Ignored and LE is NOT held Accountable to These Laws? This article is meant to compare recent actions in Florida with Pennsylvania.
A class action lawsuit for ongoing violations of Florida’s firearms background check and preemption laws has been filed charging that Floridians whose right to acquire firearms have been illegally interfered with by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Florida Law requires that FDLE complete background checks for firearm purchases within 24 working hours (roughly 3 days). In March of 2018, FDLE began illegally putting background checks into an indefinite “Decision Pending” status. Various plaintiffs have been waiting for as much as a year, in some cases even after providing FDLE with certified proof that they are not prohibited from purchasing firearms.
Florida law is crystal clear on how FDLE is required to conduct background checks and issue either approval, conditional, or non-approval statuses on background checks.
An indefinite “Decision Pending” is not a legal status under Florida statute. FDLE has knowingly and willfully changed its policies, rules, and regulations to illegally deprive many law-abiding Floridians of their right to keep and bear arms without proper evidence of a disqualifying background or the due process required for the denial of a fundamental right.
NOW, let’s compare the above with the PSP and the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS). On 6/15/2001 the FBI informed the PSP, by letter, of four (4) specific concerns regarding the operation of PICS (please see the letter at the link). Specifically, and in connection with the Florida situation, Pennsylvania ‘is’ doing the ‘very’ same thing. See below (from the letter):
- PICS will keep a background check in a "delayed" status for up to 15 days if a decision cannot be reached to either approve or deny a purchaser. If the status cannot be determined after 15 days, the individual is automatically placed in a 'denied' status and it is up to the potential purchaser to appeal the' denial. There is no state law in place authorizing this procedure. This practice conflicts with NICS regulations which state, "A 'Delayed' response to the FFL indicates that the firearm transfer should not proceed pending receipt of a follow-up proceed response from the NICS or the expiration of three business days (exclusive of the day on which the query is made), whichever occurs first." Therefore, PICS should not be placing firearm background queries into a "delayed" status in excess of three business days and should not be automatically denying individuals where the information cannot be obtained by PICS.
To this day, the Pennsylvania State Police and PICS are STILL violating Federal and State law. Requests to PSP spokesmen at hearings in Harrisburg result in statements such as “it’s been handled” or “that’s no longer an issue”. So, IF that’s the case then WHY is the language of PA Law still the same? Understand, automatically ‘denying’ the purchase of a firearm affects the firearms YOU now own as you have been identified as a ‘prohibited person’. Failure to challenge this denial in 90 days makes this situation ‘permanent’.
There are a host of problems with the PICS system, from violation of rights, to operational issues to compliance (by the PSP) with the UFA. This is why we (FOAC & many Legislators) are advocating for the elimination of the PICS system with current legislation HB 1244 by Rep. Ortitay.
The ‘ends do NOT justify the means’ and NO ONE is above the law; OR are they??
Snapshot of 3 Democrat Presidential Candidates on Gun Control
Democrats running for the White House are full of… well, ideas. Not good ones mind you, but they’ve got ideas.
Even though California gun control fanatic Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) dropped out of the race and is no longer threatening mass confiscation and criminal enforcement with the threat of nuclear war on U.S. citizens, that hasn’t slowed the others from concocting their own hairbrained schemes for denying law-abiding Americans their Second Amendment rights.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) doubled down in a tweet on her threat to use executive action to force gun control if Congress doesn’t send her the bills she likes, should she be elected. Sen. Harris announced during a CNN townhall earlier this year that she would give Congress 100 days to send her gun control legislation that would include mandatory background checks for anyone who transfers more than five guns and a ban on modern sporting rifles and standard-capacity magazines.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) wasn’t about to be left out of the gladiatorial arena of gun control politics even though he ‘runs away’ when confronted by gun owners on his ‘oath violating’ socialist agenda. Sen. Booker again called for a federal gun licensing program. That would ‘force’ every American who exercised their gun rights to possess a permission slip from the federal government and pay a fee to exercise that right. Sen. Booker would also limit the number of handguns a person could buy each month and require microstamping technology. He also would require universal background checks, which criminalizes private transfers and ban modern sporting rifles and standard-capacity magazines.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) debuted her gun control platform, which includes a ban on modern sporting rifles, which she labels as “weapons of war.” She would also repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which keeps frivolous lawsuits from harassing manufacturers by blaming them for the crimes committed by individuals. Sen. Gillibrand would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which limits access to law enforcement sensitive firearms trace data to just law enforcement. Lawyers for gun control groups want access to the data so they can again use it in lawsuits against members of the industry just like they did before Congress passed the Tiahrt amendment to protect law enforcement.
None of these ideas address criminals, criminal misuse of firearms, or initiatives that would make the public safer. Instead, they only look to limit and outright eliminate the ability of law-abiding Americans to purchase the firearms of their choice.
Five Reasons Why YOU Could End Up In Jail
Reason #1: Bad Guys Lie: It’s very rare that a bad guy will tell the truth after an incident. When the police show up, you’ll tell the police the real story of how you defended yourself or your loved ones, and the bad guy will tell a story about the crazy person with a gun who attacked them.
Reason #2: You didn’t know the law: We encounter MANY gun owners who misunderstand the law and carry their firearm where they shouldn’t or use their firearm in a scenario where they aren’t permitted to do so legally. Education is your first defense.
Reason #3: The police didn’t know the law: Some people are arrested for crimes that don’t apply to the circumstances. Some people are arrested for the incorrect crime. Some people are arrested for crimes that don’t exist. Either way, your best defense is to know the law and exercise your rights. [and know a good lawyer in advance that knows your local, state and federal gun laws.]
Reason #4: The Judicial system Decides: It’s not the role of the police to decide who was right and who was wrong at the scene. Often when the police show up at the scene of a shooting or an incident involving a firearm, they simply arrest everyone involved and let the courts or the DA decide who was the good guy and who was the bad guy.
Reason #5: We are all human: We live in an ever-changing nation, and not everyone agrees with gun ownership, the Second Amendment, or even our right to self-defense. Unfortunately, this hostility and impartiality doesn’t stop just because a person becomes a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or judge, and it tilts the entire legal system against the law-abiding gun owner.
If you have an emergency and are forced to defend yourself, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible, BEFORE YOU SPEAK TO POLICE, because even law-abiding gun owners get sent to jail.
The Expansion of Human Rights in the Age of Technology
I resisted getting a cell phone for years, and I’ve turned off the sassing features (shut up, Siri) to refrain from throwing the thing out the window. Computers are my constant nemesis, and this is because the people who program them don’t seem to think the way the rest of us do.
But the reality is that human beings are tool users and, as a species, we are not particularly gifted in strength or resilience. Our main advantage is our brain that is capable of devising tools to manipulate our environments.
We are moving rapidly toward a post-scarcity society in which machines will produce everything needed cheaply, and futurists anticipate a social shift in which the occupation of human beings will be personal and cultural fulfillment. Consider the fact that more and more jobs involve pushing buttons and monitoring screens, rather than feats of strength, making women and men equally able to perform them. The shift from primarily manual to intellectual labor that technology has allowed opens up whole new worlds of opportunity.
And weapons have been a part of this. Aristocracies supported by hired warriors could dominate a large population. But when a peasant could learn in a few hours the use of a weapon that made plate armor obsolete, the easy rule of the few over the many was no longer inevitable.
This is not to imply that technology guarantees the exercise of rights. The proliferation of cameras and of devices like Amazon’s Alexa pose a threat to the future of privacy. So-called smart guns create the potential for hackers, working for the government or otherwise, to turn off firearms when they are inconvenient to someone other than the owner. And it’s reasonable to ask why many devices—the connected coffee pot, for example—ought to be a part of the Internet of Things.
As with firearms in particular, technology, in general, is neither good nor bad in itself. It’s up to the user to determine the moral character of the object. What technology does is allow us to transform rights from theory into practice, expanding the scope of what is possible.
Quote of the Week: “I’m not sure the president should exchange playground insults with [‘The Squad’]. When you try to argue with a fool, that proves there are two. But the president decided to do so. The simple fact of the matter is that the four congresswomen think that America was wicked in its origins. They are entitled to their opinion. They are Americans. But I’m entitled to my opinion, and I just think they are left-wing cranks and they are the reason that there are directions on a shampoo bottle.” —Sen. John Kennedy
1st Point to Ponder: IF you have an AR-15 with a ‘stabilizing brace’ on it consider that the BATF has apparently changed their minds on the procedure to measure the overall length of these firearms. What this means is that ‘technically’ thousands of citizens could have ‘ILLEGAL’ firearms with these devices on them now! Attorney Adam Kraut goes over these issues in an article on Ammoland so ‘pay attention’ to this advisory! READ MORE!
2nd Point to Ponder: As at Stateline.org reported on July 10th, the feds don't regulate election equipment, which means states are entirely on their own. So, y'know, what’s with all the whining in Congress about ‘election security??
Despite the risk of election tampering, "there are no federal rules requiring vendors to meet security standards, test equipment for vulnerabilities or publicly disclose hacking attempts," according to Stateline. "With the 2020 presidential election approaching, security experts, lawmakers and even election vendors themselves are calling for more rigorous testing of election equipment and stricter security standards for the private companies that provide election-related services."
Connected thought: Pennsylvania officials have admitted to finding names of 11,198 non-citizens registered to vote on the state’s rolls.
3rd Point to Ponder: New Zealand abandoned firearms registration for most guns in 1983, after police found gun registration was expensive to administer and ineffective in solving crimes. From wikipedia:
An internal police report in 1982 criticised the proposals, saying there was no evidence that registration of guns helped to solve crimes, and that registration would use time and money better spent on other police work. This policy was adopted by the government in the 1983 Act.
A summation of the 1982 report can be found at rkba.org.
Gun Control Quote to Remember: In 1988 Josh Sugarman of the Violence Policy Center advocated pushing for gun control of semi-automatic rifles, as the push for control of handguns had stalled. Thus Sugarman laid out a basic strategy for demonizing semi-automatic rifles and working to have them banned or restricted. From reason.com:
Josh Sugarmann, founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center, laid out this strategy of misdirection and obfuscation in a 1988 report on “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America.” Sugarmann observed that “the weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: "With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties." Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms (1775)
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
As a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the August 11, 2019 FOAC Monthly meeting from any PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android phone by clicking on the link below:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/982061878
One-tap Mobile: US: +19292056099,,982061878# US (New York)
Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US
Meeting ID: 982 061 878