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 Weekly Message For Friday December 24th 2021 :: 12/24/2021
2021 has been another year for the books. I guess that goes without saying no matter the date. However, we have seen good and bad come from our fellow citizens and elected officials as we continued the fight and struggle to maintain and expand our most basic rights and liberties.
In 2021, the FOAC Institute of Legal, Legislative, and Executive Action (FOAC-ILLEA) was unveiled, we held the “Return of the Gun Bash”, Kim and Jim conducted many legal seminars, Kevin and Bob passed out literature and introduced may people to what FOAC is about, voters guides were published, candidates were interviewed and endorsed, videos were published, many legislators consulted Kim and FOAC leadership about legislation, we received a wonderful judgement from the PA Supreme Court in the Harrisburg preemption litigation (thank you Josh Prince), we worked with Rep. Metcalfe to put on another successful rally in Harrisburg, we helped to push Constitutional Carry to the desk of the Governor, Chip chaired marathon monthly meetings, the FOAC membership has grown, Dale collected EVERY receipt, many opinion pieces were written lots were published, officers, board members and volunteers have taken on more responsibilities to get things done, Herb “told it like it was” and Danielle made sure “it happened”, we helped to educate multitudes of our fellow Pennsylvanians, Kim and others spent MANY days meeting and consulting with Legislators, Kim was interviewed countless times by the media, volunteers helped us further the mission, and I may have just written the longest run-on sentence in FOAC history!
Select works by FOAC Officers and Board Members published in 2021
The Anti-gunners are still full battle rattle on Constitutional Carry
Recently, an opinion piece by anti-gun advocate, Peggy Walsh was published on “Go Erie”. Even though the Governor has vetoed Constitutional Carry, the anti-gun forces are still in full attack mode against empowering Pennsylvanians to protect themselves and their families by carrying a firearm concealed without getting Government approval. FOAC President, Kim Stolfer and FOAC 1st VP, Dr. Charles Gallo, wrote a terrific response to this article and hopefully Go Erie will exhibit true impartial journalism and publish their rebuttal. In the meantime, you can read the response here.
The disinformation being promoted to Pennsylvania residents about SB565 (Constitutional Carry) by those who rail against law-abiding folks having effective tools to protect themselves and loved ones from criminals, is absolutely appalling. One often repeated statement is that SB565 allows “anyone” to carry a loaded, concealed firearm in public. This is an absurd statement. It insinuates that SB565 makes the carriage of firearms by violent felons, those with a PFA, or even a child, legal! SB565 does not repeal, weaken or in any way impact the plethora of State and Federal firearms laws including firearm purchase background checks.
For 90 years Pennsylvania has pursued gun control in place of criminal control because there are some in our society who fail to realize that criminals are criminals because they have no regard for laws and will carry ‘in spite’ of whether SB565 is passed. Police are already trained to treat every situation as if a weapon could be present!
SB 565 reinforces the rights of ALL citizens to defend themselves without a permission slip (license to carry firearms) from government. A permission slip denied criminals now. SB 565 also removes bureaucratic obstacles that interfere with good people lawfully carrying a firearm to defend themselves. This was emphatically demonstrated during 2020 when the LTCF process was arbitrarily shut down and/or significantly delayed,negatively impacting women, the elderly, disabled individuals and minorities who live in high crime areas.
Political opponents of Constitutional Carry universally oppose the 2nd Amendment and citizen self-defense in spite of the science proving them wrong. However, surveys of active law enforcement consistently support RTC for citizens including Constitutional Carry. The Police-One survey of active law enforcement showed seventy-six percent supported these bills. Internal surveys by Firearms Owners Against Crime of active/retired law enforcement found the same support for RTC and Constitutional Carry.
A well-known, but obscure, aspect of the gun control debate is ‘Cherry Picking’ in research which is defined as selectively choosing data which support the hypothesis while ignoring the data that contradicts it (i.e., designing the “research” to prove a point). Cherry Picking is the favorite tool of anti-gun zealots, who masquerade as researchers, as they attempt to show that violent crime increases when citizens carry firearms. Moody’s research (2021) shows not all RTC states are the same. Early and late license adopting states have different factors affecting outcomes on crime. The cost of a license in Indiana is $12.95,in Illinois it’s $400 to $450. Illinois’ other restrictions include prohibiting training ranges in Chicago, concealed carry on public transportation and many other restrictions, which determine how many, and which citizens can be ‘allowed’ to obtain licenses. Consequently in 2000 in Illinois only 3.4% obtained permits while in Indiana it was 20%. “Fewer permits issued means less of a risk to criminals and a smaller reduction in murder rates and other violent crime rates.” “.. data from 1970-2014 indicates that early adopting right-to-carry states, experiencing larger increases in permits compared to states adopting RTC laws more recently, have significantly reduced murder, while not increasing other violent crime. States adopting constitutional carry laws, encouraging even more concealed carrying, have experienced even larger declines in murder, while not increasing other crime rates.” Cherry picking occurs when the researcher limits their data to only the most recent years and does not distinguish between early adopting and late adopting states, designing the research to prove a specific bias. This makes it ‘appear’ that these laws increase murder rates when in fact what is being reflected is the smaller reduction in murder rates associated with fewer permits. There are many well done research studies which show that increased firearms in the hands of law-abiding people is associated with lowered crime rates. FBI’s own data supports this.
The anti-gun community is blinded by their own prejudice and are fixated on more laws – Universal Background Checks, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, Criminalizing Lost/Stolen Firearm Reporting that have ALL been dismal failures. They completely ignore the causes of crime and the systemic plea-bargaining/lack of enforcement of current firearms laws already on the books against repeat violent criminals. The majority of violent crime is committed by a small subset of ALL criminals. What do these career criminals fear, if they do not fear the law? The Wright and Rossi study, among others, showed that violent criminals fear the law-abiding intended victims who possess firearms to protect him/her self. This effect is greatest with women, the elderly, the physically challenged and minorities in high crime areas. Firearms in good people’s hands are lifesaving tools. To reduce crime, enforce laws, prosecute criminals and repeal obstacles against law-abiding individuals defending themselves.
The deceptive vitriol from anti-gun groups regarding passage of Constitutional Carry resulting in catastrophic violence is the same nonsense thrust on the public over PA’s (current) concealed carry law in 1988. Their hysteria was misplaced then, as it is now, as is empirically shown by the 21 states with Constitutional Carry now having 5 of those states in the top spaces of the 10 safest states in America!
SB565 would make Pennsylvania a safer place – except for criminals that is.
Kim Stolfer, President FOAC-ILLEA
Dr. Charles Gallo, 1st VP FOAC-ILLEA
Firearms Owners Against Crime is the original author of Constitutional Carry working in cooperation with a state representative (Saccone) in 2011. We are also the primary advocates for Castle Doctrine (2002-2010) and other responsible public policy, including participating in the writing of PA’s current LTCF law, and the protection of individual constitutional freedom protecting legislative initiatives for the last 28 years.
A Special Message From FOAC Board Member, Stephen LaSpina
The holiday season provides a time for us to contemplate the many things we have to be thankful for. I am thankful for the natural right to keep and bear arms.
Firearms play an integral role in my protection plan for me and my family. I recognize that there are evil people in the world who may seek to do us harm for any number of nefarious reasons.
Violent crime is on the rise. Simultaneously, police departments are experiencing nationwide officer shortages. Perhaps now more than ever, it rings true that we are our own first responders, and we must take responsibility for our own protection.
The last two years have been challenging for many of us, full of change and uncertainty. Opponents of freedom continue their efforts to strip liberty from law-abiding gun owners, proposing regulation, limitations, and even bans on firearms and related accessories.
This fight requires vigilance and organization. It requires each of us to step up, become informed, and get involved. Thankfully, we are not alone in this fight.
I’m proud to be aligned with Firearm Owners Against Crime in the mission to protect and defend our right to keep and bear arms. For over 28 years, FOAC has been on the front lines in the battle for liberty. They recognize that if we lose our right to keep and bear arms, we shall surely lose our other rights as well.
I am thankful for the measure of liberty we presently have. But we must not grow complacent. You and I must be ever vigilant in standing up to those who oppose our natural rights, and we must support and strengthen those who stand in defense of freedom.
This holiday season, take time to be thankful for the liberty we still have. And as the new year dawns, join with us in our mission to preserve, protect, and defend it.
Firearms Education Series, 2021 Recap
My “day job” is as a trainer, instructor, and educator. I have been blessed to have been able to keep my lights on and feed my family by empowering my fellow Americans to take on the responsibility to arm and educate themselves to be their own family first responder. I also have trained many many instructors to do the same. In 2020, when Kim charged me with writing the safety series, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to link them for you in this 2021 wrap up newsletter. Click on the links below to read them.
I know that many of the members of FOAC are accomplished instructors in their own right. I am particularly proud of another article I wrote this year, called “Teaching Through The Eyes of a Gun Guy”. It was written with “instructors” as being the intended audience, but I think anyone who decides to show another person how to properly and safely use a gun can gain value from it.
Meet Dr. Ed Bogats, FOAC Board Member and ILLEA Education Committee Chair
Dr. Bogats, Jr. is a current Member of the Board of Directors of Firearms Owners Against Crime, ILLEA Education Committee Chair, and Lead Trainer and Owner of EJC Security Services. Ed offers advanced level training for police, security, corrections and civilians in all forms of use of force. He has a long career in Law Enforcement and currently oversees training along with the public safety operation at the Allegheny Campus, College Office and the Homewood Brushton Center. He coordinates all Emergency management areas within the campus and centers through the Director of Emergency Management at CCAC.
Some of Ed’s published works on Self-Defense and Personal Security are listed there. Check them out by clicking the link below.
A REAL Threat To the 2nd Amendment That MANY Are Ignoring
“It is the unwavering position of FOAC that an Article V Constitutional Convention, called for whatever reason, will lead to the evisceration of our Freedoms.”
Kim Stolfer, FOAC President
Our Framers understood that a free State cannot exist without an armed and trained populace (i.e., the Militia). Accordingly, they wrote a Constitution which prohibits the federal and State governments from infringing the natural right of the People to keep and bear arms.
Under our Constitution, the federal government has no authority to make any laws whatsoever over the Country at Large restricting the rights of the People to keep and bear arms. Gun control is not an enumerated power. Furthermore, the Second Amendment expressly forbids the federal government from infringing the right of the People (the Militia) to keep and bear arms.
The States are also prohibited from infringing the right of the People to keep and bear arms by Article I, Sec. 8, clauses 15 & 16, US Constitution. Those two clauses provide for the Militia of the Several States; and implicitly prohibit the States from making any laws which would interfere with the arming and training of the Militiamen in their States.
Applications for Congress to call a convention under Article V, US Constitution
But various groups, such as Mark Meckler’s Convention of “States” (COS) organizations, have been lobbying State Legislators to pass applications asking Congress to call an Article V Convention.
Whether or not State Legislatures should ask Congress to call an Article V Convention is one of the most important - and contentious - issues of our time. The Delegates to such a convention, as Sovereign Representatives of the People, have the power to throw off the Constitution we have and propose a new Constitution, with a new and easier mode of ratification, which would create a new government.
The Pennsylvania Senators Roundtable Discussion
On November 8, 2021, several Pennsylvania Senators conducted a roundtable discussionabout whether they should pass Mark Meckler’s “COS” application (SR 152) for Congress to call an Article V convention. Mark Meckler and his allies were present in support of SR 152. Firearms Owners Against Crime was present in opposition to SR 152. Gun Owners of America was there also.
Much of what Meckler said at the roundtable is not true. But this paper focuses on his comments ridiculing his opponents’ concerns that, if there is an Article V convention, we could lose our existing Right to keep and bear arms.
Meckler showed up at the roundtable decked out in gun garb; and, after dropping names to show his connections with gun rights organizations, proceeded throughout the discussion to preen his commitment to “the Second Amendment”. He ridiculed the warnings that if there is an Article V Convention, Delegates would have the power to impose a new Constitution which, among other horrors, strips us of our Right to keep and bear arms without infringement.
Meckler said that Chuck Cooper, a litigator for the NRA, is on COS’s Legal Advisory Board and has written an open letter saying, “…it’s a ridiculous argument that there could be a runaway convention and we could lose our Second Amendment.” [13:31 - 13:57]
A bit later on, Meckler said:
“…Professor Robbie George at Princeton who is considered the foremost conservative constitutional scholar in America is on our Legal Advisory Board. … [43:02 – 43:25]
So who is Professor Robbie George? And who says he is the foremost conservative constitutional scholar in America?
Robbie George and three others have drafted a new Constitution which severely restricts the Right of the People to keep and bear arms! His new Constitution says at Article I, Sec. 12, clause 7:
“Neither the States nor the United State [sic] shall make or enforce any law infringing the right to keep and bear arms of the sort ordinarily used for self-defense or recreational purposes, provided that States, and the United States in places subject to its general regulatory authority, may enact and enforce reasonable regulations on the bearing of arms, and the keeping of arms by persons determined, with due process, to be dangerous to themselves or others.”
So Robbie George’s new Constitution:
· authorizes the state and federal governments to ban the possession of all arms unless they are “ordinarily used for self-defense or recreational purposes”. Who will decide what arms are “ordinarily” used for self-defense or recreation? The governments will decide.
· authorizes the state governments and the federal government (in those places subject to its “general regulatory authority”), to enact and enforce “reasonable regulations” on the bearing of those arms they permit us to have. What’s a “reasonable” regulation? The governments will decide; and,
· authorizes the state and federal governments to strip us of our right to keep even those arms “ordinarily used for self-defense”, if someone in the government (presumably a judge) decides you are a danger to yourself or others.
We live in a time when Christians who read the Bible; People who read the Constitution; and Moms who speak out at School Board meetings against pornography in the schools, mask mandates, or the teaching of critical race theory, are labeled “domestic terrorists”. Should “domestic terrorists” be allowed to keep and bear arms? Of course not- they are dangerous!
At the roundtable, John Velleco of Gun Owners of America said:
“The questions that we’re dealing with on this is how will this [Meckler’s “COS” application SR 152] impact the Second Amendment? Because that’s, as an organization, that’s all we care about. … So we need to determine if this is something that seriously could impact in a negative way the Second Amendment, then we are compelled to engage 100%. … our bigger issues in Pennsylvania are passing constitutional carry.” [1:07:05 – 1:07:51]
Yet even though Meckler’s Board Member Robbie George had already participated in the drafting of a new Constitution which imposes gun control; and thereby would rescind the Second Amendment, Meckler responded:
“And I will tell you there are 5 Million people in this country … that are signed up for convention of states. Right here, there are 90,000 in this state. 90,000!
The question was asked, will this help pass constitutional carry? The answer is hell yes, it will! Because right now, our activists are very angry with gun rights organizations in this state. And they’ll not support anything that these gun organizations are doing, because they’re now sworn enemies on Article V. … But I will say, on Kim Stolfer’s organization, they should be working with these organizations. Every one of those 90,000 should be signed up with these organizations and members of these organizations fighting for everything they [the gun organizations] want.” [1:21:21 – 1:22:05]
So Meckler, who postures as a “Second Amendment guy” [13:31-13:57] , threatened that unless Kim Stolfer supports Meckler’s SR 152 application for a convention, Mecker’s alleged 90,000 supporters in Pennsylvania will not support anything Kim Stolfer’s gun rights organization does!
Look behind the Curtain
This push for an Article V Convention is the most vicious bait and switch ever perpetrated on the American People. It’s all about getting a new Constitution under the pretext of getting amendments.
If Congress calls an Article V convention, Robbie George’s proposed Constitution, or another just as tyrannical, can be proposed.
And since any new Constitution will have its own new mode of ratification (such as a national referendum), it’s sure to be approved.
The solution to our political and economic problems is to read and enforce the Constitution we already have. States and local governments and individual Citizens can take a giant step forward by not taking federal funds to participate in unconstitutional federal programs.
And rescind your States’ existing applications for an Article V convention! It doesn’t matter what the ostensible purpose of a convention is, as set forth in a State’s applications. Once the Convention assembles, the Delegates can do whatever they want including approving the Constitution Robbie George participated in drafting, or another Constitution which will also legalize the tyranny which is taking over our Country.
We are to fight tyranny by resisting it; not by legalizing it.
1 With the Militia Act of 1792, Congress required all able-bodied male Citizens in the Country (with a few exceptions) between the ages of 18 and under 45 to buy a rifle, bayonet, ammo & ammo pouch, and report to their local Militia Unit for training. States may not lawfully do anything to interfere with this constitutional grant of power to Congress.
2 This is shown in these flyers:
· The US Constitution & Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report show that COS’s assurances that State Legislatures will control a convention are false and reckless. So what is Meckler’s response? To snicker and belittle the CRS! [1:14:35 – 1:14:42]; and
4 It should be enlightening to ask Meckler to provide documentation of his claim to have 90,000 supporters in Pennsylvania. Legislators in other States have looked behind the curtain and found “COS” claims of support to be false: See Phony Petitions and Polls.
5 James Madison expressly warned of this stratagem: See this flyer at footnote 2.
6 Altogether, the National Constitution Center has three proposed new Constitutions. All of them transfer massive new powers to the new federal government.
Additional proposed Constitutions are discussed here. One of them, the Constitution for the Newstates of America, was produced some 60 years ago [and factions have been pushing for an Article V convention ever since]. Under the Newstates Constitution, the States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. Article I, Part B., Sec. 8 provides that the People are to be disarmed. Article XII, Sec. 1, provides for ratification by a national referendum - so whoever controls the voting machines will determine the outcome.
Corey O’Connor Seeks Position As Allegheny County Controller
By Kim Stolfer, FOAC President
Corey O’Connor, the architect behind the overturned 2019 illegal gun ban in the City of Pittsburgh (one of the most egregious violations of our rights and the law), is seeking an appointment to one of the most powerful positions in Allegheny County: County Controller.
The process would be for the Governor to make an appointment, and the Senate would vote to approve. Cory believes he has the votes to be the next Allegheny County Controller.
LET ME BE CLEAR: a yes vote for Corey is an anti 2A vote. He will weaponize that office to push his anti 2A agenda.
Reach out to every PA State Senator and make sure they understand what they are voting for if they vote for Corey O’Connor.
In 2019, Corey was advised by many that his ordinances violated PA State Preemption Laws, specifically Title 18 Section 6120. When warned that concerned Pennsylvanians were prepared to fight his governmental overreach in the Courts, his response was:
"Because we think we're doing the right thing and I think there is a lot of people out there who believe that we're doing the right thing. So, nothing is going to stop us and we're not afraid, people can file what they want..."
How can we trust this guy to hold other people accountable when he cannot follow the law himself. Corey has a history of being selective about which laws HE in his infinite wisdom deem to be valid. This is NOT the type of person we want as Controller of Allegheny County.
After Action Report: Oaks Gun Show, 12/19/2021, Oaks, PA
By Dan McMonigle, FOAC Board Member
I have been attending the gun shows in the “East” of PA for many years. Over the last couple of years there have been many changes that I have recognized, demographics, wants, needs, and involvement. Here is what I saw.
Attending the Eagle Arms Christmas Show for three straight days is hard on the feet. Working the FOAC booth helps me to get a sense of where people are on the issues.
First thing you need to know is that the Eagle Arms Shows are under new ownership. We didn’t have the usual premium position we used to get. The new owners placed FOAC in Hall A in the middle. I knew something was amiss when I saw that the NRA recruiter was placed directly next to the GOA booth! Seems the new owners have a sense of humor. But at least we had our own space and were ready to do what we do, educate our fellow Pennsylvanians!
Friday was well attended and the crowd was very “local”. Berks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delco folks mostly looking for primers, powder, pickles and jerky. Many of them were fully aware of Constitutional Carry’s demise at the hand of the Governor. The show was busy but not overwhelming, and the venders seemed happy with the money that was being spent.
Saturday the audience changed. NY, MD, NJ, CT, RI, and DE were in the house. This clientele was focused on purchasing magazines, ammo and guns. After 12:00 noon, the room changed. Attendees were generally younger, and much more urban. The city of Philadelphia has “woken up”. They are getting tired of the high crime and looting. Lawlessness is taking its toll and they want to exercise their Rights and learn about firearms law. The best questions I received were from the residence of Philly. How to get a license to carry? How do we get Constitutional Carry passed? It was glorious!!
Sunday was an urban “repeat” and the crowd was heavy and involved. They not only wanted to know how they could help the cause of Liberty and the mission of FOAC, but they offered information about local resources that I could contact to spread our message. I pushed them to help us train and help us educate their friends and family in the city. They were very receptive.
Spreading the word about FOAC and recruiting volunteers in this community will help us help one another further the cause of Liberty in Pennsylvania!
2022 promises to have victories and dumpster fires alike. We need to push Strengthening Preemption (SB448) though the House and fight for a veto-overturn. We must also continue to elect Pro-Gun/Liberty candidates and hold them accountable. We must fight the COS Article 5 Constitutional Convention. We need to mobilize Pennsylvania gun owners and organize to counter Ceasefire PA when they harass Legislators who have promised to support Article 1 Section 21. We will surely need to battle unknown fights that will come from the Federal Government and the Biden Regime. We will need to fight along side other organizations rather than with them. We will need to continue to raise money to fight tyrants in court. We will surely need to make last minute calls and send last minute emails to legislators to educate, advise, and urge them to vote for or against specific legislation(s). We will need to continue to endeavor to educate and empower our fellow Pennsylvanians.
The fight for Liberty and Freedom is never ending. We will need YOUR help in 2022.
On December 24th, 1968, while Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were circling the Moon, they offered a special message to the people of Earth.
"For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you".
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."
Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."
On behalf of the Officers and Board, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, or Happy Hannukah, and wish you and your family a wonderful and prosperous New Year. Please celebrate with your family, friends, and loved ones. Hoist a glass of egg nog, wine, or whatever and give thanks for the Liberty and Freedom that we have, and the love we share.
May God Bless us everyone!
Stay Armed and Be Well Regulated!
Yours in Freedom!
2nd VP Firearms Owners Against Crime