PA Bill Number: HB726
Title: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for offenses committed with firearms.
Description: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for offenses committed with firearms. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Jan 23, 2020
Firearms Seminar hosted by PA Rep. Mike Puskaric - 01/25/2020
Carrick Sportsmen’s Club 3301 Ridge Road, South Park, PA
Keep Cook Rally - 01/25/2020
Valley Inn Social Hall 34 Snyder Avenue, Monongahela, PA
Concealed Carry Education Seminar hosted by PA Senator Doug Mastriano - 01/25/2020
South Mountain Fish and Game Club 11547 Loop Road, Fayetteville, PA
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday October 6th 2019 :: 10/06/2019
On Friday, September 4, the lawsuit against the city of Pittsburgh was once again center focus of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in front of Judge James with oral arguments being held. Considering the outcome of the FOAC lawsuit against Harrisburg for the preemption violations there and the fact that the Commonwealth Court, En Banc, found that we (FOAC and the plaintiffs) did have standing to bring that lawsuit, Pittsburgh conceded that we had standing for the Pittsburgh preemption lawsuit.
Furthermore, it appears that the antigun lawyers representing the city of Pittsburgh from the Everytown organization are accepting the fact that it is very likely for Judge James to rule against the city of Pittsburgh by their comments regarding their intent to appeal which they would not say if they felt the they will be victorious at the Court of Common Pleas level!
The downside is they are intentionally driving up the financial costs of this lawsuit, knowing that they cannot win, to try and intimidate gunowners from challenging the sorts of unconstitutional and illegal actions! It is time for Harrisburg to finally provide a mechanism by which legal fees can be recovered from these rogue municipalities who have disdain for their limitations on the law as well as their apparent lack of accountability for violating those laws!
We cannot turn back in this pursuit of justice for if we lose every gun owner in Pennsylvania will lose as well our constitutional rights that will be eviscerated by local communities who will see this loss as empowerment for their socialist agendas! As an example, think of the Canonsburg mayor who is a member of MAIG or otherwise known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns. This mayor is another clone of Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto and would certainly try to impose the same kind of limitations and restrictions on citizens’ rights as we see the city of Pittsburgh trying to do!
These two lawsuits against Pittsburgh and against Harrisburg have been enormously expensive! Therefore, we feel we have no choice but to ask for each of you to try and help, even more than you already have, with a donation to our legal defense fund so we can effectively continue this fight and put this anti-gun genie back in the bottle! Please try to help if you can! You can donate at this link: https://foac-pac.org/Donate - thank you!
Rally for the Second Amendment--November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington DC
Gun owners, rights activists, and lovers of liberty will be gathering on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, at 1:00 in the afternoon.
This is a grassroots effort, and you are the grassroots. Without the active participation of you and other grassroots activists, this isn’t going to work. At the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, activist Nicki Stallard characterized the difference between rights activists and gun control extremists, saying that we’re herding cats, while they are stampeding cattle.
You must help elect politicians that understand and respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You must be sure that your family, your friends, your coworkers, your church family, your kids’ friends and their parents, all know the importance of the Second Amendment and the fallacy of gun control laws.
You don’t have to be a scholar or an expert, but you do need to do what you can. Politicians don’t actually read your letters and emails, nor do they get detailed notes about your phone calls. The majority of the time, a low-level staffer looks at your correspondence and puts a check-mark in a “For” or “Against” column, which is then relayed to the politician in the form of a report: “362 constituent comments opposing Bill xyz, 48 supporting it.” That’s it.
Anti-rights extremists think they have the upper hand right now and those anti-rights extremists are counting on you to shuffle around in circles wringing your hands and wondering what to do.
Even some in our own movement are more concerned about how it might look if only a few rights activists show up at the Capitol on November 2nd. What a self-defeating attitude. They’re not going to attend or encourage others to attend because there might not be enough people in attendance to make a good showing…? Get on-board or get out of the way. Call that defeatist attitude out for what it is.
The core message of the 2nd Amendment Rally, is “We Are the Gun Lobby,” as in “We the People,” and we demand that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights be respected and adhered to. The speakers list is still under construction, but President Trump, Vice President Pence, Representative Scalise, Representative Massie, Senator Paul, and other congressional leaders have been invited, to join with grassroots rights leaders and activists from around the country.
Are you going to be there, or are you going to come up with an excuse?
Is your favorite grassroots group actively working to inform members about the rally and encouraging them to attend, or are they making up excuses? Will you volunteer to change that?
It all comes down to YOU and what you’re willing to do. Get three buddies and plan a road-trip, or better yet, get six buddies and borrow your wife’s minivan. Or even better, get forty or fifty buddies and charter a bus. Push your groups to be involved, and volunteer to help. You can make all the difference.
This could be the most important Second Amendment event of our lifetime. Only You can ensure that it’s a success. Go to www.2ndAmendmentRally.com to register and get more information. Together we can shake up Washington and save the republic.
Current Democrat ‘Gun Control' Proposals Would Wreak Havoc on Second Amendment
The FBI released its Uniform Crime Report for 2018 on Monday. Notably, the number of homicides decreased significantly — by 7%. What may be even more surprising is that murders committed with firearms fell by 6.7%. And of those murders committed with a firearm, only 2.8% were with a rifle (this includes AR-type rifles), for a total of 297. It’s not a new trend, but The Washington Free Beacon notes, “Rifles were used less often to commit murder than knives, fists, and blunt objects.” Meanwhile, the overall steady decrease in violent crime has coincided with a steady increase in the number of firearms sold and owned. These are the facts.
However, one would not know this reality after listening to the rhetoric coming from the Democrat presidential candidates who gathered in Las Vegas on Wednesday for the deceptively titled “2020 Gun Safety Forum.” The forum was spearheaded by the anti-gun, billionaire funded activist organization March for Our Lives, and it gave each of the candidates 30 minutes to present their plans for gun control. And as one would imagine, any semblance of genuine concern over protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights was exuberantly squashed in favor of the unanimously agreed upon “need” for “commonsense” gun control.
With the backdrop of the event orchestrated to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Las Vegas atrocity, nine Democrat candidates, using emotionally hyperbolic language combined with personal anecdotes that were devoid of any relevant facts, offered some of the most onerous gun control proposals to date.
All of the Democrats advocated proposals such as universal background checks and “red flag” laws. However, not everyone was willing to jump aboard Beto O'Rourke’s gun-confiscation bandwagon. O'Rourke, who has focused his entire campaign on essentially eliminating the Second Amendment, called for a “mandatory (confiscation) buyback” of all semiautomatic rifles, tying ownership of “assault weapons” to racism. (Actually, it’s gun control that has a racist history, but that’s another story.) Likewise, Cory Booker threw his support behind a mandatory buyback, but suggested that no force would be needed to enforce the law. (Wrong.) Pete Buttigieg called the “mandatory” part of a buyback a long shot. He didn’t object on constitutional grounds but rather saw it as politically untenable. Julian Castro endorsed a voluntary buyback and registry of firearm owners. Elizabeth Warren called for more federal studies on the cause of “gun violence,” while conveniently ignoring the mass of data definitively showing that the vast majority of gun-related crimes are directly tied to criminal activity such as drugs and gangs, primarily operating in Democrat-controlled urban centers. Joe Biden broke with the buyback proposal and instead called for repealing laws that protect gun manufacturers’ civil liability and for banning online sales.
What was conspicuously absent from this forum was any defense of the 2nd Amendment. The bottom line is, Democrats want to remove as many firearms as possible from the American citizenry. The reason: Democrats don’t want to be held to account by an American population that is armed. If a government doesn’t fear its citizens, then it can and will abuse them. Trashing not only the 2nd Amendment but also the entire Bill of Rights in the process as not ONE of the Democrats support ‘limited government’ and individual liberties!
Media Bias in Focus: Penn Capitol-Star; Independent Media Outlet ‘or’ Public Relations Firm for Anti-Gun Groups and Billionaires Soros and Bloomberg?
Earlier this year a new government news outlet opened up for business under the name of Penn Capitol-Star with John Micek, former opinion editor at PennLive, as editor-in-chief. This is an online media operation with a mission to cover Pennsylvania’s state government.
Here’s where the entanglement with the anti-gun mindset begins because it is a project of the Hopewell Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. This nonprofit is directly connected to Arabella advisors which, in and of itself, is directly connected to left-leaning clients. These clients are all anti-gun! Furthermore, these clients all advocate for even greater restrictions on the Bill of Rights and, especially, the Second Amendment.
This publication has been shown by the tone of their own publications, over the last several months, to have become an arm of the disarmament camp spearheaded by Cease-Fire PA and Moms Demand Action! The leftward spiral on gun control and against gun ownership has been shown in not only the tilt in their articles but their unwillingness to cover both sides fairly! Even more so, they have rewritten what few op-ed’s they have published based on their own prejudice, even when shown that the language used by FOAC and other writers was justified and supported by evidence!
When we talk about “collusion” by some politicians it is interesting to see that media does not hold themselves to the same standard they apply to politicians! The “quid pro quo” of the financiers of these outlets and this one in particular turn them from First Amendment oriented publications to propaganda outlets that would make Herman Goebel’s proud!
How these editors-in-chief and reporters can sleep with themselves knowing that they are shaping people’s views based on lies is difficult for the average person to comprehend or to countenance! There is an old saying that with “rights come responsibilities” and it is time for supporters of the First Amendment to realize that they are hypocrites if they don’t apply the same standard to themselves!
How Publications/Studies Deceive the Public by Conflating "Gun Deaths" and Public Safety
A recent article by German Lopez, published in Vox, makes a series of mistakes by conflating an increase in “gun deaths” with a decrease in public safety. The origination of these mistakes is from an article published last year, in 2018, where the Rand Corporation published a chart based on a number of different and dubious studies on “gun deaths”. From the previous article:
But there were some things that could be gleaned from the available evidence. While RAND as a nonpartisan group avoided any sweeping policy conclusions in its analysis, its review does seem to point in a direction, based on my own reading: More permissive gun policies lead to more gun deaths, while more restrictive policies lead to fewer gun deaths. Coupled with other evidence in this area, that supports the idea that more guns lead to more gun deaths.
The key points of the Rand compilation of studies is biased is by the focus on “gun deaths”. The major bone of contention in restrictions on gun ownership and use is *not* gun deaths. It is, first, a philosophical determination of political power; secondarily, a question of practical effect, primarily about whether other methods will be substituted for guns in crime and suicide. A major part of that equation is whether guns have significant benefits for defense, which has little to do with how many people are killed.
They implicitly reject the argument that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. That is a partisan assumption. They ignore Constitutional questions. That is a partisan approach. Rand is one of the think tanks that has prospered as the nation came under the sway of the Mediacracy. It has a vested interest in pushing increased regulatory schemes. It assumes the regulatory state is benevolent.
Even with the assumption of a benevolent state, if you ban guns, and “gun deaths” decrease, but overall homicide and suicide rates are not affected, you have not accomplished anything to reduce homicide or suicide. You have increased restrictions on ordinary citizens.
Focusing only on “gun deaths” is intellectually dishonest.
It is easy to create hypotheticals; carrying a defensive firearm may keep it under the control of an adult, for example, rather than leave it at home to be stolen. Carrying a firearm may increase training and awareness of firearms safety. These are unknowable elements that are difficult to measure. People with concealed carry permits are extremely law-abiding, several times less likely to commit crimes than even the police.
Part of the problem with these studies is the bias inherent in the language used to ask the question.
“Gun violence” is a propaganda term used to link five separate phenomena involving guns, all together, and claiming all the problems can be solved by infringements on the Second Amendment.
The proponents of the term link suicides, non-justifiable homicides, justifiable homicides, homicides by police, and firearms accidents all together under the “gun violence” banner. These are separate phenomena with separate causes and dynamics.
There is no serious reason to believe suicides will decrease in any significant amount if private sales are outlawed by “Universal Background Checks”. Most suicides are by older white men who have owned guns for decades. Numerous other methods exist. In Australia, suicides went up after the extreme gun restrictions were put in place. Different methods, particularly hanging and single car fatalities were used.
There has been no reduction in overall homicides when the access to guns was made much more difficult. One flawed and biased study, in a medical journal, claimed that homicides have increased with “stand your ground” law in Florida. Half of the increase was from recorded justified homicides. The study used justified homicide data from a law enforcement database then compared it to total homicides from a medical database. Any homicide not recorded as justified was assumed to be non-justified. If you infer problems with comparing different data sets, you are correct. Two other studies, in Arizona and Texas, showed no effect.
Studies are notorious for selection bias in international comparisons. They choose some subjective criteria, such as “developed' or “rich” countries while ignoring demographic differences among populations. If you see a study that only compares England and Sweden, but leaves out Brazil and Russia, you know you are seeing bias. All international studies are suspect, because of definitional difficulties.
It is not hard to understand that academics, especially in the medical field, have biases against gun ownership.
There is a general bias against gun ownership in most of the medical journal studies.
There seems to be less in the criminological journals.
In determining the positives and negatives of gun ownership, there are many imponderables and value judgments. The rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution are seldom mentioned by those who want the population disarmed.
Historically, those with arms have ruled those without.
Knowing the Numbers for Passing Legislation
In one sense, the fight for our Second Amendment rights comes down to numbers. To wit - sufficient votes in a given legislative chamber to pass good legislation that moves us closer to restoring our rights or to defeat the bad legislation. In terms of the federal government there are five numbers to keep in mind: 218, 290, 51, 60, and 67.
Those numbers represent the number of votes needed for a majority in the House of Representatives, the number of votes needed for a two-thirds supermajority in the House, the number of votes needed for a Senate majority (needed to actually pass legislation and end some filibusters), the number of votes needed to end a filibuster for legislation (three-fifths), and the number of votes needed for a two-thirds majority in the Senate. These are important to keep in mind, because they tell us what is possible to achieve, and therefore, they also dictate the tactics and strategy that Second Amendment supporters must follow.
In the House of Representatives, we need 218 votes to pass pro-Second Amendment legislation. Based on the vote for HR 8 earlier this year, we have about 190 votes as of now. That means in 2020, Second Amendment supporters need to pick up a minimum of 28 seats in the House. That gets a majority of one vote. It would be nice to have a larger margin, because pushing a major piece of pro-Second Amendment legislation will be controversial, and so, it wouldn’t hurt to have a dozen or more extra votes.
In the Senate, we technically need 51 votes to pass legislation. Currently, there are 55 pro-Second Amendment votes, albeit Joe Manchin and Jon Tester are not entirely reliable on confirming pro-Second Amendment judges.
It would also give Second Amendment supporters a fighting chance at 60 votes after 2020. That sort of margin would have made it relatively easy to deal with the financial blacklisting and corporate gun control emanating from companies like Salesforce. But now, even if Republicans hold the Senate after 2020 (it could likely be a close decision), corporate gun control and financial blacklisting will be defended by a filibuster. On the flip side Second Amendment supporters must protect 15 seats to ensure that there isn’t a filibuster-proof majority for anti-Second Amendment legislation.
The number 67 also matters – that is the number needed to either pass a constitutional amendment or to remove an official via impeachment. Second Amendment supporters will need to flip 12 seats to get to that number – and must protect 22 to avoid seeing the latter.
Once you understand the numbers, it then becomes a question of figuring out how to get the numbers needed. That will involve a lot of grassroots work in the run-up to the 2020 election, and to those elections beyond those of next year.
2019 Ballot Question: Pennsylvania Marsy’s Law Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment
One of the questions that will be available for citizens to vote on a victim’s rights amendment called Marsy’s law. This ballot question would authorize the addition of a section addressing crime victims’ rights to the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Declaration of Rights section, Article 1.
FOAC is recommending a yes vote on this ballot question and more information can be found by clicking on this link: https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania_Marsy%27s_Law_Crime_Victims_Rights_Amendment_(2019)
Knowing the Difference Between the Achievable and the Ideal
If there is one issue that tends to cause the most divisions amongst Second Amendment supporters, it is disagreement over the tactics and strategy used to defend our right to keep and bear arms. The NRA takes one approach, GOA takes another, we see still others from the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, and the pro-Second Amendment groups at the state level.
Why is this? Because while Second Amendment supporters generally are in agreement about the ideal situation they’d like to see regarding our rights, there is often a fight over what is actually achievable at a given point in time. One group might want to push for sweeping changes, while another would prefer a more incremental approach. They may even disagree on what the priorities should be – one group may want to roll back oppressive legislation on carrying guns, another would ask lawmakers to address firearm preemption laws.
Second Amendment supporters face a balancing act. We must try to achieve the ultimate objective, one that creates the ideal situation with regards to our Second Amendment right, without backtracking or accepting unconstitutional compromises. At the same time, we need to be realistic, and get what we can in the climate we have today. This is not compromising or being a “Fudd,” it’s about getting the best possible result we can today.
1st Point to Ponder: Dr. Lott’s testimony before PA Senate Judiciary Committee (9/24)
2nd Point to Ponder: Self-Defense: AR-15 vs. Home Invaders-Nebraska 8/12/2019!
3rd Point to Ponder: Anti-gun AGs Push “Universal” Background Checks for Ammunition
Spearheaded by PA AG Josh Shapiro, it does not appear as if the anti-gun attorneys general know anything about existing federal gun laws. According to their letter to congress, the proposed legislation — would make it illegal for individuals who are already “prohibited purchasers” under federal law — including convicted felons, domestic abusers, and individuals with serious mental health conditions — from purchasing or possessing ammunition.
The attorneys general are demonstrating either incompetence ‘or’ outright lying about current law because prohibited persons are already barred from purchasing or possessing ammunition. 18 USC 922(g) provides that it is unlawful for a prohibited person — to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
A prohibited person found in possession of a single round of ammunition faces up to 10 years imprisonment.
It is difficult to overstate how burdensome this policy would be for gun owners. Forcing all ammunition sales through a Federal Firearms Licensee would put non-FFL ammunition sellers out of business. This would severely curtail the availability of ammunition to the average gun owner. Gun owners would no longer be able to order ammo through the mail directly to their home, as they would need to have an FFL run a background check before taking possession of the ammunition.
H.R.1705/S.1924 would extend anti-gun lawmakers’ cumbersome so-called “universal” background check proposal to cover the commercial and private transfers of ammunition. On September 23, this onerous plan received the support of 21 politically minded state attorneys general, who signed a letter to congressional leadership advocating for the proposal.
“It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer ammunition to any other person who is not so licensed, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession of the ammunition for the purpose of complying” with the NICS background check requirement.
Gun Control Quote to Remember: “Shame on Congress for allowing yet another year to pass without action. Shame on Congress for allowing this tragic anniversary to be followed by so many more—in Sutherland Springs, in Las Vegas, in Orlando, in Charleston, and in our communities each and every day. Each day that passes marked by inaction, Congress turns its back on the will of the American public–complicit as 90 more lives are lost to the scourge of gun violence.” – Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal in Newtown Plans Private Reflection To Mark Five Years Since Sandy Hook Shooting [via courant.com]
Closing Thoughts: Earlier this week, a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed in Connecticut, resulting in seven fatalities and six people injured. What does a WWII plane crash have to do with guns? Anti-Gun Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is the link.
A story on the crash included the following comments from anti-Second Amendment Senator Blumenthal:
These aircraft are reminders about the greatness of the World War II generation; they are a great part of history” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Whether they are safe to fly is another question. And that’s the question that we need to ask before people board them for the experience of flying, which is a great experience. Until we know exactly what caused this crash, a major tragedy, whether it was a defect in the machine or some problem with maintenance or flying. There should be very serious scrutiny over these planes before they’re allowed back in the air.
I found myself asking why he needs to know the cause of the crash before taking action. Isn’t this the same Senator who moves immediately to restrict the Second Amendment after each mass shooting without waiting for facts or information?
Maybe he’s come to see the light. Maybe next time there’s high profile spree shooting, we can expect him to say, “We need to gather all the facts before we consider any legislation that would infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
We shouldn’t hold our breath. This is just one more confirmation - as if any were needed - that facts don’t matter when trying to restrict our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: "Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day." - Thomas Jefferson, (1807)
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
As a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the October 13, 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/134200286
One-tap Mobile: US: +19292056099,,134200286# US (New York)
Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 134 200 286
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adSioEAVyf