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 Date: Jul 17, 2019
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
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday June 30th 2019 :: 06/30/2019
There is an old analogy that compares politics to the making of sausage and no finer example of that is the recent deliberations over SB 621, which provided for standards and criteria for arming, with firearms officers and individuals to provide security in public schools in Pennsylvania.
The reason for SB 621 was to fix the mistakes in Act 44 from last session which, supposedly, dealt with similar issues. But of course, the language in that previous legislation did not allow for human bias and prejudice as well as narrow minded self-interest. So, Sen. Regan offered up, in this session, SB 621 to make sure it was clear that the intent was to provide for more effective security in our schools to protect our children!
You may be asking yourself why should supporters of the right to bear arms and our Constitution care? At the heart of this was the philosophical concept of responding to a threat with lethal force by either law enforcement or trained individuals. This is a concept that the anti-gun groups supposedly support, that of training for individuals who possess firearms! Yet when confronted with the reality of moving forward with placing law enforcement, retired law enforcement or contracted security professionals in schools with firearms, after consultation with the school board, Cease-Fire PA and other anti-gun drones rejected these changes with dripping vitriol and hyperbole! It’s important for us to all understand the true motivations of groups like Cease-Fire PA and others because it is indicative of how they view constitutional rights and the pragmatic realities of self-defense so take a look at the statements below so you understand how they view “your” rights:
From a Cease-Fire PA Op-Ed (6/26/2019):
But “we don’t support all of these other changes that have made it too easy for someone to carry a gun and be around kids in the name of school safety,” Brown said said.
From the Cease-Fire PA legislative Memo (6/21/2019):
As advocates committed to keeping our public schools safe for the students and the educators who attend them, the Education Law Center (ELC) and CeaseFire Pennsylvania express our strong opposition to Senate Bill 621, a dangerous expansion to the armed presence of security personnel in school. . . . .
More from the (6/21/2019 Memo):
Dangerously Increasing the Presence of Guns in Schools
The federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, 18 U.S.C. § 992(q) et al., was enacted to decrease guns in schools and “ensure that our school grounds do not become battlegrounds.”1 SB 621 defeats that aim. Section 1314-C(c) dangerously expands the presence of armed personnel in schools by authorizing a new category of school personnel – armed school security guards, which includes independent security contractors.
FOAC responded with our own position paper refuting the 2-Dimensional ramblings of CeaseFire PA and outlining the importance of 'armed security' in schools along with the failure of Gun Free Zones in preventing mass killing events.
The insinuation, in the above, is that anyone that supports this kind of concept is heartless and cruel and that Gun Free School Zones have worked! This couldn’t be further from the truth and in fact every mass murder in a school has occurred by the absence of armed security personnel, even in Parkland Florida where the deputies (recently fired) remained outside why the killer murdered innocent children. What’s more, is it’s clear that Cease-Fire PA doesn’t even trust law enforcement in our schools around our children with firearms and by extension of that how can they be trusted out in public with firearms?
There is one inexplicable problem with this legislation and that is at the very last minute on Wednesday night, in the House Appropriations Committee, amendment number A02543 was offered at the request of Sen. Regan’s staff with language that had an unfortunate consequence in that it removed the powers of arrest from credentialed, act 120 certified law enforcement officers who work for school district except for a narrow case of when they are a contracted SRO with the local police department. The motivations behind this amendment are incomprehensible and will need to be addressed in the fall session because of the impact this will have on maintaining order in school districts such as the city of Pittsburgh or the city of Philadelphia. Larger school districts maintain their own school police and credentialed law enforcement who work for these departments should not have their powers of arrest stripped from them!
In the final analysis this legislation is important to move forward on the concept of providing proper security for schools are schoolchildren and it rejects the simplistic flat earth society notion that criminals, monsters, and killers respect gun free zones.
If you would like to see a breakdown by Klint Macro of the recent Cease-Fire PA email that is so full of lies and distortions that it is sickening, please click this link! https://foac-pac.org/uploads/talking_points/Ceasefire-pa-Lies-Exposed-2019-06-26v2.pdf
Yet ANOTHER Study Reinforces What We Already Know: Criminals Don’t Ignore Gun Laws
The anti-gun group, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, gives the state of Illinois a B+ grade (the highest grade given is an A). Giffords wants people to think this means it should be a relatively safe place, since gun laws ‘always’ work right?!
Yet Illinois’ largest city, Chicago, has long been an embarrassment to this notion. The city has an even longer list of gun controls than the state itself and has perennially seen decades of terribly high rates of violent crime.
A new study led by Dr. Philip J. Cook of Duke University, for example, looks at the duration of the “last link – the elapsed time from the transaction that actually provided the offender with the gun in question.” Cook and his co-authors surveyed 221 people convicted of firearm-related offenses in Chicago incarcerated in state prisons about the gun they had at the time of their crime.
The media coverage of this study has fixated on several findings. “More than two-thirds of the men obtained their primary gun within the last six months of their arrest (68%), while 19.3% possessed their gun for five or fewer days. Almost a quarter of respondents (22.6%) had never owned a gun six months before their current arrest. Of those who had, a majority acquired their primary gun—the one they possessed during their arrest—through a purchase or trade (54.3%) and from a friend or acquaintance (56.9%).”
While these discoveries ‘may’ be an interesting contribution to the body of knowledge regarding criminal behavior, an even more important detail is reported by Stephen Gutowski at the Washington Free Beacon: “The CIS respondents were almost all barred from purchasing a gun from a gun store because of their prior criminal record—as a result, their guns were obtained by illegal transactions with friends, relatives, and the underground market.”
In other words, while the lengthy list of gun control laws in Illinois and Chicago ensured the subjects’ behavior was illegal, these laws did nothing to actually prevent that behavior.
The study’s authors conclude that “more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.”
And perhaps they’re right but WHY is there no mention of this aspect?
But the point Gutowski raises about the illegal nature of the transactions underscores that simply adding additional laws to the books will not deter the sorts of armed activity that end with people going to prison.
We can thank the authors of this study for, once again, reinforcing what we already know: criminals don’t follow the law.
Thoughts to Consider:
The tyrannical anti-rights crowd does not like it, but the Supreme Court clearly established in the Heller and McDonald cases that RKBA is a constitutionally protected right incorporated against the states. That makes it a CRIME to deprive citizens of that right under color of law under existing federal law. (See 18 U.S. Code §â¯242. Deprivation of rights under color of law).
It is ALSO a federal crime to engage in an organized conspiracy designed to suppress constitutionally guaranteed rights. (See 18 U.S. Code §â¯241. Conspiracy against rights)
Given what we see go on every day in the media and at least half the political establishment, with generous contributions from certain billionaires and the active and enthusiastic participation of some politically inspired, high ranking law enforcement, why are these crimes not being investigated and prosecuted? That is a failure of the system of epic proportions.
Especially since if you bother to actually read those statutes, the death penalty can be invoked if deaths result from the deprivation of rights or conspiracy to do so. Gun control has been shown to deprive citizens of their common right of self-defense, just look at the failure of Gun Free Zones. So is the 2nd Amendment a ‘civil right’ or not????????
Just sayin’. . . . . . . .!
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 1444 which is a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide for the removal of municipal officers for dereliction of duty or even absenteeism. This legislation passed by a vote of 195 – 6.
It’s interesting that the Pennsylvania state Association of Township supervisors has concerns about the bill but their concerns did not make a significant statement about the failures of elected officials to do their job.
The same Association has been silent on the city of Pittsburgh and violating Pennsylvania law by forcing a vote on gun control ordinances that they have no authority to enact!
Democrat Presidential Debates and the Second Amendment
We put together a synopsis of the positions of all of the Democrat candidates who are running for president so you can see just how little they respect the Bill of Rights that ALL of them have sworn a solemn oath to defend:
DEBATE PART I
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.): equated crimes with firearms to a health crisis, calling it a ‘national health emergency,” but ducked answering whether she supports confiscation proposals.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said, “I hear gunshots in my neighborhood,” and proposed a national licensing program, requiring training standards. Sen. Booker also wants to restrict handguns sales to once per month. He claimed to MSNBC that the majority of Americans agree with his plans to require licensing and training standards to exercise American rights.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) tried to convince debate viewers that a forced buyback scheme to collect the more than 16 million privately-owned modern sporting rifles isn’t confiscation as long as the government makes an “offer.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio portrayed gun control as a race issue, invoking his biracial son and quickly pivoted to policing.
Secretary Julian Castro (D-Texas), former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, predicted a Democratic sweep of The White House and Congress, ushering in unprecedented gun control. He’s previously said there would be no handguns in an ideal world.
Former U.S. Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas), called modern sporting rifles “weapons of war” that “belong on the battlefield and not in our communities.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) steered clear of committing to gun control on the stage, referring to changes in mental health care instead. Ryan was once a Lifetime NRA member, but has since embraced gun control platforms and even donated $20,000 of NRA contributions to gun control groups.
Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) didn’t get to directly answer questions on gun control other than to say solutions must be reached in a bipartisan manner. However, Rep. Delaney cosponsored legislation to ban modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines and would criminalize private firearms transfers.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) spoke on military arms on the debate stage, but didn’t offer her previous stance on the issues, where she’s supported banning modern sporting rifles, standard capacity magazines and implementing universal background checks.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also struggled to be heard, getting just five minutes of speaking time, the least of anyone on the stage the night he debated. However, Gov. Inslee is a strident gun control supporter who voted for the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 when he served in Congress and supports the recent gun control initiatives passed in Washington by ballot initiative.
DEBATE PART II
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) answered the first question on guns, promoting his mass confiscation program, which even the moderators refused to acknowledge was a confiscation, labeling it, instead, as a “buyback.” Swalwell said Americans would be allowed to keep pistols, rifles and shotguns.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defended a previous position that states should decide gun laws and pivoted to his support for universal background checks and claimed so-called “assault weapons” are from the military, refusing to understand the modern sporting rifles as designed in the 1950s as a sporting rifle and sold by Colt as such before being adopted by the military and converted to the M-16.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) reiterated her demand for legislation within 100 days if elected and threatened executive action to ban modern sporting rifle imports. She also said “guns” would be priority for a Harris administration.
Mayor Pete Buttegieg (D-Ind.) blamed guns for the crime problems in America, saying they make Americans less safe. He called modern sporting rifles “weapons of war” and wants universal background checks. He’s spreading the nonsense that Bloomberg’s agenda of gun bans is compatible with the Second Amendment (he was a member of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, according to Fox News).
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Del.) said gun manufacturers were the enemy, adding he would conduct a modern sporting rifle confiscation under the guise of a “buyback” and require all firearms sold to be equipped with so-called “smart-gun” or authorized-user technology that does not exist in a reliable form.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said crimes committed with firearms were the fault of “greed” by gun manufacturers.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) didn’t speak on guns from the debate stage but has a mixed record on gun rights. He voted for a ban on standard capacity magazines, but also said he opposes on restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.
John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) touted his passage of universal background checks in Colorado while governor, but didn’t mention the ban on standard capacity magazines that caused Magpul to leave the state. Gov. Hickenlooper has put forth a national gun license requirement proposal, enacting age-based gun bans and banning modern sporting rifles.
Andrew Yang (D-N.Y.) didn’t speak on guns from the debate stage, but has proposed a tiered national gun licensing scheme, bans on suppressors, standard capacity magazines and implement age-based gun bans.
Marianne Williamson (D-Calif.) also didn’t speak on guns, but does support a ban on all semiautomatic firearms, standard capacity magazines, universal background checks and mandatory waiting periods for firearms purchases.
Perhaps the most important take away from the two nights is that the candidates advocated or passively supported gun CONFISCATION, rhetorically couched as “gun buybacks.”
Not a single one of the 20 candidates spoke in opposition to confiscation or the respect for the Second Amendment. So, the Democrats really are coming for your guns. The other key takeaway is that former Vice President Joe Biden believes the firearm industry is the “enemy.”
In addition, nearly all candidates embrace a ban on modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines and instituting universal background checks. Biden would mandate that all firearms sold be equipped with unreliable biometric authorized user recognition technology, sometimes called “smart guns.”
2nd Amendment Activists Need to Fight Smarter ‘and’ Harder
There is one thing we all need to understand as 2nd Amendment supporters, it’s the need to fight – even when we may disagree on the methods. But we can’t just fight harder when confronted with threats, we have to fight smarter than we have over the years. This applies across the entire 2nd Amendment community.
Here’s the nature of the threats: Earlier this month, an advice columnist with a readership of 22 million encouraged a father to prioritize his hatred of guns over his love for his daughter. In two airings (one this past Sunday), a “60 Minutes” hit piece on the AR-15 drew a combined total of almost 17 million viewers (9.85 million in November, just under 7 million this past Sunday).
Or, to put it bluntly, in just this month alone, two ads (that’s what the column and re-airing were) reaching almost 30 million people were run advocating the views of billionaire funded anti-gun extremists. Those were, essentially, two major in-kind contributions to Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. That one in November, run the Sunday before Election Day, may have swung the votes of some of the 9.85 million who saw it.
So, we need to adapt to this political terrain and culture – According to Reason.com, of 21 Democratic presidential contenders, only five even grant the possibility of self-defense as a valid reason to own firearms.
Before we go any further, let’s talk numbers. When it comes to elected officials, the ideal would be that all 435 Representatives, all 100 Senators, all 50 governors, the President, Vice President, the nine justices of the Supreme Court, and the hundreds upon hundreds of state legislators are staunch defenders of the Second Amendment. That is not the reality, though.
The situation is much better in the Senate – not only are there about 55 votes (Joe Manchin and Jon Tester vote pro-Second Amendment more often than not, but they are not the most reliable on ancillary issues)
As of today, Second Amendment supporters can really only count on 190 votes in the House (based on the vote for HR 8). The situation is much better in the Senate – not only are there about 55 votes (Joe Manchin and Jon Tester vote pro-Second Amendment often than not, but they are not the most reliable on ancillary issues), but the leadership is pro-Second Amendment and will kill anti-Second Amendment bills.
Look, the stakes in 2020 are very high. All Second Amendment supporters need to pull together and start going after those who would take our rights away.
Illinois State Sen. Proposes Confiscating guns
On June 11, anti-gun Illinois state lawmakers Sen. Julie Morrison and Rep. Bob Morgan held a “townhall” meeting in Deerfield, Ill. Gun owners attended the meeting and asked Morrison about her sponsorship of SB107.
The bill would have branded many modern semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns, and shotguns commonly owned by law-abiding citizens as “assault weapons” and banned them along with spare parts and accessories. The legislation permitted current owners to continue to possess these firearms if the owner registered the firearm with the state and paid a $25 fee for each gun.
At the “townhall,” a constituent confronted Morrison about her bill, asking why it was acceptable for the lawmaker to push legislation that would take firearms away from law-abiding citizens unless they registered their guns and paid a fine.
After pointing out the punitive nature of the legislation, the gun rights supporting constituent asked Morrison, “If I get to keep it if I pay a fine and register it, how dangerous is it in the first place and why do you need to ban it at all? Why do you need to try to ban my semi-automatic firearms?
With a arrogance and smugness that can only be appreciated by watching the video, Morrison offered her constituents a flippant response. Literally looking down her nose at those gathered, the state senator replied, “Well you’ve just maybe changed my mind. Maybe we won’t have a fine at all. Maybe it’ll just be confiscation and we won’t have to worry about paying a fine.”
Astute gun rights supporters have long-understood that the ultimate goal of anti-gun politicians is to confiscate firearms from law-abiding gun owners. What sets Morrison’s conduct apart is that it clearly demonstrates the contempt gun control supporters have for their fellow citizens and the constitutional rights they have sworn to uphold. Gun rights supporters and all those who value personal freedom should share this video in order to show others the arrogant indifference with which these lawmakers treat their constituents’ constitutional rights.
Remember, we have a number of elected socialist legislators in the Pennsylvania State House and Senate. How far off do you think their views are from this Illinois Sen.?
Most Common Prejudices About Gun Owners & Firearms Use
There was a time in the United States when owning a gun wasn’t considered an indicator of what sort of person you were. Owning a gun didn’t mean anything more than owning a wrench did. They’re both tools. And they were regarded as such.
Unfortunately, legal gun ownership and use carries much more social and political baggage than it used to. People have formed prejudices against legal gun use that can make guns an uncomfortable topic for gun owners.
Some of these prejudices are manufactured to push a political agenda. Some have occurred more organically. However, they’re all problematic for the same reason: they’re wrong.
And, these prejudices are especially damaging because they not only stigmatize legal gun owners, they scare new gun owners away from purchasing firearms—even when they may have a completely legitimate reason for getting a gun, like personal defense.
Unfortunately, the most common prejudices are repeated often on social media, and are even “verified” by certain news outlets.
These are the common prejudices that get favorable treatment in a lot of circles.
Possessing a Gun Indicates Violent Behavior
This opinion gets touted a lot by bias news media. People claim that the only reason to carry a gun is if you’re looking for a fight. Or, maybe you’ve had someone ask you why you have a gun ready for home defense as if you’d be crazy to have a gun in your house.
The idea that the only reason you’d have a gun is because you’re actively looking to engage in violence is a fallacy. The mere possession of a tool does is not an adequate indicator of intent.
Guns are tools. And, just like other tools, there are multiple uses, and even various needs, for a gun. Simply having a gun does not indicate which of those uses you intend to use the gun for.
Furthermore, the total number of firearm homicides in the U.S. each year is far less than one tenth of one percent of the total population. Even the total number of violent crimes reported in 2017 was only 5.3 million, which would be just under two percent of the population. So, the actual data reveals that owning a gun is not a good predictor of violent behavior.
Anyone who believes that mere possession of a gun proves a certain intent has made a predetermined decision, without enough information to accurately reach that conclusion. It’s textbook prejudice.
Gun Owners Are More Likely to Be Racist Than Those Who Do Not Own Guns
This one comes and goes in terms of popularity. In 2013, the Huffington Post published an article which cited a study that “showed” this. However, the study used something called “symbolic racism” to evaluate people’s biases, and more recent articles mostly cite anecdotal evidence. Mostly
So, again, this seems like another predetermined judgement based on inadequate information.
Is it true that racists own guns? Yes. But, people who aren’t racists also own guns. Even though the numbers are tough to work out on this one, the most likely scenario is that the number of upstanding gun owners far outnumbers the racist gun owners.
On the other hand, less than half of households in the United States own guns. Which means that there’s a very good chance that there are more racists who don’t own guns than racists who do.
Just addressing this issue requires a lot of assumption and inference, because it’s so hard to get any good information. That means there’s not enough information to make a dependable judgement. So, this assumption about gun owners is certainly painting with a very broad brush, that almost certainly can’t be accurate.
Let the Prejudices Lie
Although these prejudices can make things uncomfortable, especially in conversations about guns rights and gun ownership, they’re most deeply held by people who occupy the extremes of the political spectrum (or the political grid).
So, chances are that most people don’t buy these ideas wholesale, and gun owners from any walk of life can work against these prejudices by clearly articulating why we own guns and how to make gun ownership safer for everyone.
Videos of Interest: It's no big revelation that most in Hollywood are an enemy of the 2nd Amendment. Singer Madonna has come out with a new music video that takes Hollywood propaganda to a whole new level. Of course she leaves out the fact that the tragedies she is emotionalizing and railing against were ALL Gun Free Zones already with a complete 'ban' on the 2nd Amendment and firearms! Hey, why should facts matter to the clinically biased in Hollywood? https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=zv-sdTOw5cs
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: 'During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety.' Thomas Jefferson, (1805).
Yours in Freedom,
Kim Stolfer, President