PA Bill Number: HB283
Title: In the Secretary of the Commonwealth, providing for public meetings on proposed ballot questions.
Description: In the Secretary of the Commonwealth, providing for public meetings on proposed ballot questions. ...
Last Action: Re-committed to RULES
Last Action Date: Sep 22, 2023
FOAC's Top Weekly News Stories for the week of January 22, 2022 :: 01/22/2022
I have traveled across the Country training instructors to teach our fellow Americans to take on the responsibility of becoming their own family first responders. Many of the states in the Northeast USA, are a “no go” for me if I arm myself with a firearm for my own personal safety.
When I do travel with my firearm it can be very stressful and taxing to be vigilant inorder to avoid danger, potential criminals, and conflict. It is also almost equally stressful and taxing to be careful not to end up in a place where my being armed is against the law. I must protect myself from the law too.
Take one wrong exit or cross the wrong bridge and I would go from “law abiding armed American” to “law breaking criminal”. The patchwork quilt of laws in the Northeast stacks the deck against law abiding gun owners who choose to arm themselves and take on the responsibility for their own safety and that of those that they love.
Even though Pennsylvania is one of the top 10 “restrictive” States when it comes to gun laws, we are a relative beacon of Liberty compared to our neighbors in the North, South, and East. In most of our neighboring States; New York, New Jersey, and Maryland you must obtain government approval to buy a handgun. In most of the States in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, you must take government mandated training in order to apply for permission to carry a firearm. After classes, getting fingerprints and compiling an extensive application, a judge, board, or a State Police “Official” will approve or deny your application. Government has the final say about your ability to exercise your Rights and protect your family.
Although I personally believe (and we as an organization believe) that Licenses, Permits, and background checks are unconstitutional and we will continue to advocate and fight for Constitutional Carry and eliminating the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS), our current process in PA for obtaining a license to carry a firearm is much more palatable than our neighbors.
Heading South to Virginia, they do NOT have preemption. Cities, towns, counties, and municipalities can have different laws when it comes to firearms. This was why the “2A Sanctuary Ordinance” movement was so popular and appropriate in Virginia. Local tyrants across Virginia can decide if and how their constituents should or can exercise their individual right to self-defense. The patchwork quilt of laws from town to town, county to county is terribly cumbersome and unfair to citizens who try to keep up with the laws.
Pennsylvania has Preemption.
Pennsylvania Title 18 Section 6120 states:
Section 6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition.
(a) General rule.--No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
For many years, when local tyrants decided to pass laws that supersede State law, FOAC and other organizations have taken these cities, towns, counties, and municipalities to court and beat them. FOAC, as of today, is batting 1,000. FOAC has drafted letters, testified to committees, made statements, staged protests, held rallies, funded Amicus Briefs, and taken the fight all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and won.
A few years ago, FOAC took some heat for NOT supporting the 2A Sanctuary ordinance movement that migrated north from Virginia. FOAC could NOT support this BECAUSE we have preemption in Pennsylvania. If we win because no municipality can pass a law that supersedes state law when it comes to “2A”, what would be the consequence to our legal efforts if we were to support a movement that encouraged local municipalities and counties to pass their own ordinances when it came to “2A”. What would be the consequence for all of those people that helped us fund our legal actions by sending in their hard-earned cash and “going without” for the sake of Liberty?
Fighting “city hall” ain’t cheap. We have been able to continue these fights with the generous support of regular Pennsylvanians and Liberty-minded citizens that give their time, effort, energy, and treasure to hold local tyrants accountable.
Who are we fighting?
Elected Officials are funded by the taxpayers. Anti-Gun / Anti-Liberty Elected Officials are also often bankrolled by Bloomberg. These local tyrants act as if they are above the law. They are empowered and emboldened with lots of money and the fact that Title 18 Section 6120 does not currently have any consequences for tyrants when tyrants violate the law.
When we beat these elected officials in Court, Liberty is restored, the tyrants go home, we send out a triumphant press release, and we are left with a huge bill. Our legal team, notably Joshua Prince, has been very generous with their time, however, the hours, court costs, filing fees, and printing fees are quite substantial. When I say printing fees, I don’t mean photocopies at a local print shop, the specific printing formats and number of copies required by the courts alone can cost 1,000’s of dollars.
For decades, FOAC has spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars fighting tyrants across the Commonwealth who violate preemption. Even though we have won against these law-breaking elected officials, we are financially punished for taking them to task. The bills don’t go away when the judge slams the gavel.
What if when a local tyrant, knowingly breaks the law by violating PA Title 18 Section 6120. Does the district attorney’s office charge that elected official with a crime? Violating the law is AGAINST the law! Remember back in 2019 when the Allegheny County DA stated that Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto and members of the City Council WERE about to break the law? He stated publicly that this was the case, yet, when they ACTUALLY signed their illegal ordinances, violating PA Title 18 Section 6120 he did nothing. Perhaps this was because of “Professional Courtesy”, elected officials protecting elected officials…not protecting the Rights of the people.
SB448 and HB979 both Strengthen Preemption by putting consequences into the law. If a local tyrant decides to disregard State law then they will, among other things, be financially liable for court costs when they are taken to court and defeated. Not only would this hold elected officials accountable, but it may very well be a terrific deterrent. If “the Mayor” will be held personally liable for Court costs, then maybe “the Mayor” might not play politics with the individual Rights and Liberties of their constituents.
SB448 has passed the Senate and is currently in the Judiciary Committee of the House. HB979 passed the House in June of 2021, went to the Senate, and last week passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and has moved to the floor for consideration. FOAC Members, gun owners, and Pennsylvanians who agree that it is a good idea to hold elected officials accountable for breaking the law, must contact their PA Senator. CONTACT YOUR PA SENATOR and urge them to support and VOTE YEA when HB979 comes to a vote.
Email, call, and fax (if you still have an old fax machine) your PA Senators at their local office and Harrisburg office. You can use the following sentence as your cliff notes:
I urge the Senator to support Rep Matt Dowling’s HB979, Strengthen Preemption. Vote YEA for it when it comes to a floor vote.
PLEASE sent the emails TODAY, send the faxes this weekend and make the calls FIRST THING IN THE MORNING Monday, January 24th! The faxes may seem a bit 1990’s but they are still a viable way of communicating with your elected officials. It makes a statement when there is a pile of paper on the floor from faxes coming in. If you are a FOAC member, when you email, “cc” firstname.lastname@example.org and we can keep track of who was contacted. That data comes in handy.
Once this legislation passes the Senate, then it will go to the desk of the Governor. Only God knows if the Governor will sign this legislation into law, but like Constitutional Carry, we need to get everyone in the Legislature in Harrisburg ON RECORD as to if they support the individual Rights and Liberties of Pennsylvanians. We need to see which Legislators actually think it is OK for local elected officials to break the law with no consequence. Who knows, maybe Gov. Wolf will finally do something that empowers us rather than restrict us. Let’s put some stock into the power of positive thinking! However, we will never find out unless HB979 makes it through the PA Senate… so help by contacting your PA Senator today!
Don’t know who your elected officials are? Don’t know how to contact them? CLICK HERE and when you are redirected to the FOAC website, you can enter your address where you will see who your representatives are and how to contact them.
BACKGROUND CHECKS: A FEEL-GOOD MEASURE OR SCAM?
By Stephen LaSpina, FOAC-ILLEA Board Member
“The idea of background checks are critical, but you can't stop something like this if someone’s on the streets buying something from somebody else on the streets.”
President Joseph Robinette Biden made this statement while answering media questions regarding the recent Synagogue hostage-taking event in Texas.
It is certainly true that background checks do little to deter criminal activity. Most criminals are generally savvy enough to avoid situations where they have to submit to a background check, opting instead to procure weapons through other, often illegal, means.
Evildoers determined to commit criminal activity are simply not dissuaded by something as commonplace as a background check. They are no more deterred by that requirement than they are the existing laws they may subsequently break after procuring a weapon: armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, etc. We have extensive laws prohibiting all such behavior, and yet these types of crimes are committed everyday.
If background checks aren’t the answer, what can be done to mitigate violent crime?
First, it can be made easier for law-abiding citizens to legally carry a firearm everyday for their defense. In 2015, Carol Browne of Maryland was waiting for permission to obtain a firearm from the state of Maryland when she was killed by an ex-boyfriend, whom she had a restraining order against. That situation may have turned out very differently with no waiting period. One thing we know for sure: no law or restraining order was able to keep her safe. Self-defense is a human right that should not require a permission slip from the state.
Secondly, violent criminals must face more severe consequences for their actions. In November of 2021, Darrell Brooks Jr. killed six people by running them over with his vehicle in Waukesha, Wisconsin at a Christmas parade. What has been little reported is how earlier in the very same month, Brooks posted a measly $1,000 bail for previous criminal activity: namely, punching and then running over a woman with his vehicle. Even with such known, violent behavior, he was released back into society, resulting in even more people being victimized.
Law-abiding citizens pass background checks, while criminals simply avoid submitting to them. It is time to remove barriers for responsible gun owners to defend themselves and to more strictly punish violent criminal actors.
THE FOAC-ILLEA SPRING GUN BASH
The FOAC-ILLEA Spring Gun bash will be here before you know it. The gun bashes are our main fundraisers and the best damn gun bash in Pennsylvania! We print 1,000 tickets and they are on sale now via the website. We don’t have many tickets left, so GET YOUR BASH TICKET WHILE YOU STILL CAN. The FOAC-ILLEA gun bash ticket is one of the best on the planet! You do NOT need to be present to win prizes on the ticket, but joining us at the Washington County Fairgrounds, eating the terrific food, enjoying a cool beverage, and fellowshipping with other Liberty-minded Americans is a great time! Purchase your ticket TODAY!
FOAC INSTITUTE OF LEGAL, LEGISLATIVE, AND EDUCATIONAL ACTION
As you may have noticed, FOAC is evolving! We have bifurcated into two separate organizations, FOAC-PAC and FOAC-ILLEA. Both organizations are continuing as “all volunteer” and each have separate missions. PAC will still be at the forefront as the premier Pennsylvania organization that vets candidates, supports pro-liberty candidates, and issues voter guides.
The purposes for which FOAC-ILLEA is organized are to promote social welfare within the meaning of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, including but not limited to; (1) developing and advocating for legislation, regulations, and government programs to improve safety, protect citizens, stimulate sportsmen's activities and safe legal firearm ownership; (2) conducting research and publicizing the positions of elected officials concerning these issues; (3) for legal defense of firearms and sportsmen's related issues; and (4) to educate the public on safe and legal firearm ownership, and Constitutional issues thereof.
The specific objectives of FOAC-ILLEA are to:
- provide instruction and education in Constitutional Rights, the impact of current and proposed laws and regulations affecting those rights, firearms safety and governmental policies that affect the general public’s welfare.
- provide analysis of proposed firearms and sporting related legislation to the government on the impact and ramifications of proposed legislation.
- develop educational material in firearms safety.
- develop educational material on current laws pertaining to firearms ownership for both Pennsylvania and the United States.
- sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote the sport of hunting, fishing, shooting and outdoor activities.
- sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote Pennsylvania or United States Constitutional Values.
- sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote the education of individuals in firearms safety and current law.
- conduct research and publicize the positions of elected officials concerning firearm sportsmen's related issues.
- defend firearm related issues thru legal defense and directed legislative action including grassroots action.
If you would like to volunteer to help on one of our many committees, please feel free to send us an email and let us know. We need individuals that can assist with distributing action alerts, educating elected officials, visiting elected officials in Harrisburg, helping with the gun bashes, and much much more. Want to make a difference for Liberty? Volunteer today!
FOAC-ILLEA Board Member, Jim Stoker, presenting at a FOAC Concealed Carry Seminar
FOAC-ILLEA UPCOMING EVENTS
Concealed Carry Seminar – Sponsored by Ambridge District Sportsmen’s Assoc.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: ADSA Clubhouse
Address: 2900 Ridge Road Extension, Baden PA 15005
FOAC-ILLEA Spring Gun Bash
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location: Washington County Fairgrounds,
2151 North Main Street, Washington, PA
Concealed Carry Seminar – Sponsored by Rep. Jason Silvis
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: Huber Hall
Address: 300 Alexandria Street, Latrobe, PA 15650
Concealed Carry Seminar – Sponsored by Rep. Jason Silvis
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: West Leechburg VFD Recreation Hall
Address: 1116 Gosser Street, West Leechburg, PA 15656
“There is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust.” -James Madison
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” -Thomas Paine
"The first step in regaining Liberty is recognizing that we ARE 'The People' and free Americans in spite of the Government. The 2nd step is being OK with whatever level of confrontation results from those who Govern disagreeing with us." -Klint Macro
We move mountains one shovel full at a time, or with dynamite. Each little thing we do for the cause of Liberty adds up to a great deal of things if we ALL do something and do that something consistently. Contacting your PA Senator to urge them to support HB979 is a little thing that adds up to a lot if we all do it. Asking a friend to do the same, showing them how to find the contact info for their elected officials is a little thing that adds up to a lot. Urging your friends and family to educate themselves about pro-Liberty candidates and VOTING for them in the next election, is a little thing that adds up to a lot. Taking a friend or family member to the range and teaching them how to handle firearms safely, check it clear, and shoot it well is a little thing that adds up to a lot, and is also a lot of fun!
I hope to see you at the gun bash, on the range, or in the classroom.
Stay Armed and Be Well Regulated!
Yours In Liberty,
FOAC-ILLEA 2nd VP
Here are this Week's Top News Stories From Firearms Owners Against Crime
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reference number: M-822