PA Bill Number: HB55
Title: A Joint Resolution proposing separate and distinct amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania, in declaration of rights, providing for ...
Description: A Joint Resolution proposing separate and distinct amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania, in declaration of rights, providing for ...
Last Action: Laid on the table
Last Action Date: Jan 13, 2021
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday February 23rd 2020 :: 02/23/2020
Since the creation of FOAC (nearly 27 years ago), we have constantly advocated for putting pressure on the political process through the advocacy of grassroots politics and investing gunowners in that process! Time after time it has been shown that when average citizens who believe in the Second Amendment get involved, we can control the political debate in ways far better than any other way. We have seen just recently in Virginia how the passion of citizens to respond to unconstitutional attacks on the average citizen’s rights can be blunted by an outpouring of passion and energy in opposing gun control!
In the mid-90s here in Pennsylvania, we experienced a similar attack on the right to bear arms through the passage of Special Session House Bill 110 or as was known after passage Act 17 and one of the little-known extraordinary fights that came about as part of this horrible gun control Bill was protecting the rights of gunowners from disclosure of firearms ownership to the public. This is a fight that is going on now all across America where laws were created that did not protect citizens from fishing expeditions by media and anti-gun forces, California is the most recent example! Ironically it was the media exposure of Sen. Vince Fumo’s gun ownership information that resulted in the legislature acting swiftly to provide those protections currently in Pennsylvania law.
The insanity in Virginia has resulted in a developing issue, 2A sanctuary communities, that is sweeping across America and also in Pennsylvania that is putting those privacy protections in jeopardy. Several counties have begun the process of becoming 2A sanctuary counties and as part of that it is a citizen movement spurred on by the gathering of petition signatures. What is not being told to gunowners is that once you sign a petition such as this, those petitions become public documents subject to the RTK or Right to Know Process and we believe it exposes gunowners to abuse by media and other groups.
There are other concerns with the sanctuary movement here in Pennsylvania because of the differences in law that we have between Virginia and other states. These concerns continue to grow!
Part of the challenge of being involved in political issues, especially grassroots politics, is knowing when to embrace an issue and when to slow it down or, in some cases, say now based on the potential unintended consequences. There are many issues that gun owners have before them this year and this session in both the State and Federal legislatures, most importantly the elections! We simply must protect the Republican majorities in the Pennsylvania house and Pennsylvania Senate as well as restore the majority in the United States House of Representatives. Placing our faith in the sanctuary movement, no matter how well intended, will only distract us from the realities of the political situation we are now faced with!
It is through the practice of leadership that we continually must call out the best in those around us, and encourage everyone within your sphere of influence to help propel our effort forward.
Leadership imbues upon each of us the responsibility to take the time to personally invest in helping those around us to understand the significance of the defense of the Bill of Rights. Taking time to utilize the moments within your schedule to offer your attention, build relationships cultivate the passions within the 2A community and reaching out to others who respect your opinion is an often-overlooked aspect of political action. Invest in everyone, specifically those you see who are currently on the sidelines as it is within the margins there that we often have the most significant victories.
**Status Update on Pittsburgh Preemption Lawsuit
On February 20th FOAC general counsel Joshua Prince notified us that the Commonwealth Court has scheduled the docket for the appeal by the city of Pittsburgh to their loss in the Court of Common Pleas over their illegal ordinances. The city must submit their briefs by March 31 and then FOAC will then respond.
Again, the city of Pittsburgh has five attorneys dedicated to this case with three of them coming from Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Everytown! We believe strongly that our attorney, Joshua Prince, is more than a match for these attorneys! We would very much appreciate any donation you are in the position to make to our legal defense fund so we can continue to carry the fight to the City of Pittsburgh to which we are committed! We cannot do this without you! If you have already donated please know that we greatly appreciate your support and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Pennsylvania Election Developments
- A new study by the Knight Foundation finds that 100 million Americans who could vote don’t do so, for a variety of reasons. In general, they tend to dislike politicians and political parties, distrust the electoral system to accurately count votes and the political system to fairly represent people, and disengage from the news in favor of entertainment, the Inquirer reports.
- Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Philadelphia, will not run for reelection and retire at the end of her current term, her 15th in Harrisburg, the Capital-Star reports.
- A wave of resignations and pending retirements in the state legislature -- including two of the Republican Party’s most prolific fundraisers -- has fueled hope among Democrats that they can regain control of the GOP-held state House and Senate, Spotlight PA reports.
Has Virginia Exposed What Anti-Gun Politicians Really Fear?
Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen confirmed to Fox News that Lobby Day and other second amendment activist activities directly lead to the defeat of the flawed far-reaching gun ban bill (HB 961). Gun owners throughout the Virginia Commonwealth flooded county board meetings and city council meetings demanding that they declare themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries. In the end, over 96% of the state said they would not enforce any unconstitutional gun laws.
The anti-gun media didn't take this defeat of their Draconian bill too well. An Associated Press report in the left-leaning British paper the Independent declared, “Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapon ban after white supremacists said it would spark civil war.”
The report referenced a couple of white supremacists that the FBI arrested days before the rally. According to reports, they planned to start a civil war in Richmond. The paper headline ignored the tens of thousands of average citizens that gave up their day to come to the Capitol to lobby their Senators and Delegates about their rights. The sensationalized headline even ignored the body of the story.
These media gun-grabbers will use headlines to try to bend the story to fit their narrative. It is a form of yellow journalism that has plagued our field since the beginning of time. Still, now in the clickbait era, it seems to be ramped up to demonize anyone that doesn't fit into their idea of a liberal utopian paradise.
It’s important to remind you that gun control isn’t about guns, it’s about control. Always has been, always will be.
At the same time, we need to read those biased articles with misleading headlines. That way, when someone posts those articles to social media, you can explain to them what the articles say and not what the editor wanted to insinuate.
We can fight back against misinformation, but it takes a concerted effort from all of us.
Such facts might lead town hall participants to ask Democratic presidential candidates how many law-abiding citizens they are prepared to criminalize and demonize in their pursuit of gun control? Do they seriously intend to make felons of millions of residents of the Republic?
How many casualties are they prepared to inflict on ordinary folks (and law enforcement) who would see themselves as standing up for their constitutional rights and might forcibly resist any attempts at confiscation? How many criminals (or criminally insane) would such legislation deter? And, perhaps most importantly, what benefit would actually derive from a ban on assault firearms? Finally, what authority do they have to predicate the rights of law-abiding citizens on the misdeeds of criminals under the Constitution?
It is appearing to be the case that what these politicians truly fear themselves is encapsulated in these questions. It may be symptomatic that the Virginia Gov.’s declaration of a state of emergency to ban guns around the Virginia Capitol on Lobby Day the other week (thus statistically increasing the risks to the crowds and despite much historical evidence of peaceful gun lobbying to the contrary) was because of his own fear of guns in the hands of angry citizens who might refuse to submit to his agenda.
It could be that what politicians who advocate gun control truly fear is not violent crime or mass shootings but a future well-armed rejection of their own legislative over-reach.
New Legislation – H.R. 5935 – Reaffirms the Legality of the Interstate Transportation of Magazines & Ammunition
Congressman Brooks’ legislation, H.R. 5935, the Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act which restores the legislative intent behind the transportation protections of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA).
Please ask your congressman to cosponsor this momentous legislation alongside Rep. Brooks.
In 1986 Congress passed the firearms owners protection act (FOPA) which was a comprehensive package of legislation that rolled back many of the more onerous actions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as the misinterpretations of previous laws!
Currently, the Firearms Owners' Protection Act requires:
- That the gun be unloaded and inaccessible to the passenger compartment
- That the travel through any state must be temporary, and
- That the trip originates in a state where it was lawful to possess the firearm and ends in a state where it is also lawful.
However, anti-gun states rebelled against the protections afforded in this legislation and law by prosecuting gun owners using the poor language in certain sections to jail unsuspecting gun owners.
It has reached the point where someone who travels through New York or Maryland or New Jersey while traveling from Maine to North Carolina risks arrest due to state laws criminalizing the possession of otherwise lawfully-owned magazines or ammunition.
Under Congressman Brooks bill, ammunition and magazines would be added to the specific list of items protected by FOPA and, in addition, police would be prohibited from harassing transiting motorists on the basis of firearms ownership.
We need to reach out to our members of Congress of Congress and and urge them to cosponsor this bill - NOW. The prison sentence you avoid may be your own!
Newest FBI Crime Data Show More Good News on Crime Trends
Violent Crime continued to decline in the first half of 2019, according to new preliminary data published by the FBI. Violent crimes dropped by 3.1 percent compared to January-June 2018 and property crime fell by 5.6 percent. Looking at violent crimes, the decline was seen in every region and follows decreases in 2018 and 2017.
As states across the country ramp up their legislative sessions, gun control advocates are once again fighting to ban modern sporting rifles and generally restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans. While these continue to lie about violent crime to advance their gun banning agenda and will use emotional pleas to argue for their irrational policies that would do nothing to help prevent the criminal misuse of firearms, we simply must point to the facts. Through 2016, there have been over 17.7 million modern sporting rifles in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Meanwhile, violent crime is declining. The message is clear. Violent criminal actions must be dealt with at the individual level. Banning certain types of firearms is not the answer.
Recent Political Attacks Show the Party of Gun Control IS Violent AND Intolerant
Tolerance means allowing others to think and act in ways with which we disagree. As long as they are not violating your rights, then “tolerance” means hands-off, live and let live. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen Democrats show us how intolerant and violent they are. So when is the media going to condemn this violent behavior before violence and retaliation spreads.
This under the radar reality that big-government leftists are violent has been avoided scrupulously for years. The man who tried to murder Republican Congressmen Scalise on a baseball field in Alexandria was a dedicated Bernie Sanders supporter. That planted the question, but recent history made the connection to violence even more clear.
Here are some recent examples:
- GOP volunteers were registering voters in Duval County, Florida when a man drove his van over their tent, their signs, their tables and their chairs. The driver backed up and took a picture of the debris. Then, the driver shouted obscenities, gave the stunned victims the middle finger, and drove away. The six volunteers said they were lucky that they had stepped out of the way and were not been crushed. The attacker was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a person 65 years of age or older and one count of criminal mischief. He is held in jail on a $500,000 bond.
- In New Mexico, a former intern for Democrat Governor Grisham spray painted the state GOP headquarters in Albuquerque. The vandal was charged with criminal damage to property. The estimated costs of repair was between $2,500 to $4,000. The vandal worked for Governor Grisham when she was a congressman. The vandal now works for the state of New Mexico.
- A local volunteer from the business community donated security cameras to the GOP headquarters in Medford, Oregon. This was after the GOP offices had been vandalized several times and police said they had no suspects. When the donation became publicly known, the volunteer was threatened. Callers said they would burn down the volunteer’s house.
- The Republican headquarters in Eureka, California has been vandalized six times in the last two years. The glass windows and doors were smashed. The interior was defaced with paint. The police called it “random violence” despite the fact that the Democrat headquarters hasn’t been touched. One perpetrator was back out on the street the day after his attack. There are clearly two standards of justice at play.
- That behavior is mild in comparison to the threats received by the Republican candidate for congress in San Francisco. The candidate participated in a city-clean-up event when an Antifa thug said he knew the candidate was racist just by looking at him. The thug said he wanted the candidate dead, and wanted to “fuck him up” when the cameras weren’t around. The attacker was not arrested.
- A black man was called a racist and tackled to the ground for wearing a “black guns matter” t-shirt at a Bernie Sanders rally. The attacker was not charged.
- Demonstrators waving pro-Trump signs were threatened and then assaulted by a man with a sword in Ocala, Florida. In this case, the attacker was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of disorderly conduct.
- A construction worker in Florida stabbed his employer to death on a construction site. The victim was attacked for being a Trump supporter while the employee said the government was out to get him. At least this attacker was arrested.
As we long suspected, the power of the state to regulate and tax is the power to control, and American Socialists mean to rule. . . even if that demands violent oppression of those who disagree with them.
Celebrating diversity means you appreciate our differences. Saying that I can be different as long as I agree with you and do what you tell me to do is fascism, not tolerance. When will American liberals walk-the-talk and leave others alone?
‘In the US, there are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty. They are the soap box in the public square, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box . . . preferably used in that order.’
Let’s hope we can still vote our way to liberty before we have to fight to defend it.
More Reasons for Every American to Oppose ERPO/Red Flag Gun Confiscation Laws
If you listen to the media mouthpieces and the anti-gunners, ERPO laws are intended to separate potentially dangerous people from their guns before they cause harm. In theory, how could anyone oppose the idea? Don't you want to keep people safe? Think of the children!
The problems begin when these laws get written down. The seventeen different versions of law in the assorted states and the District of Columbia are, in general, vague laws. After taking evidence, the judge has to decide whether or not the evidence presented makes the case that the person is likely to be dangerous with a firearm. How will the judge make that call? Will it be neutral or based on a bias or political prejudice? These laws don't provide any guidance as to what actions comport with a likelihood of future violence. Although some cases might be straightforward, such as when someone makes a clear threat to cause harm (in which case, why not charge them criminally and lock them up rather than just their guns!), I suspect many more cases will be much more difficult to judge fairly, if they even can be.
Here's the problem in a nutshell: mental health people have struggled since the dawn of their profession to help courts determine whether or not someone is likely to cause harm. They even struggle with determining whether or not someone would commit a second violent act after receiving treatment following the first violent act. It is, quite simply, not as easy as it sounds: people change, their life circumstances change, their condition – if they have one – wax and wane, etc. All of the methods of risk assessment have considerable limitations, they are not Magic 8 Balls!
Yes, red flag laws are unconstitutional AND they violate one or another cornerstone of our justice system.
The vast majority of gun owners are among the most law-abiding citizens there are, but you would never know that after listening to their war on gun owners.
This brings us back to ERPO/red flag laws. The concept may be pure of purpose and hopeful, but the devil is always in the details. There are a growing and increasingly vocal group that have made it clear that the very act of purchasing a gun is suspect, making the purchaser suspect. It is against that background that ERPO/red flag laws will be implemented. Regardless of what is in the bill, factors such as this kind of anti-gun-owner prejudice and rhetoric is going to make it very difficult for a judge to remain rational and impartial when faced with these proceedings.
This is all the more insulting because the latest FBI data released in recent weeks shows that violent crime, in general, is decreasing as well as homicide related to firearms, at the same time that gun ownership is rising. This specifically disproves the idea that firearm ownership is making us less safe.
As always, FOAC will pay close attention to all candidates in all elections and we implore you to do the same. Make sure you know where the candidates stand on the Second Amendment, and even more importantly, firmly and politely make sure they know where you stand as a voting constituent.
1st Point to Ponder: If law-abiding gun owners needed another reason to be dubious of why their firearms ownership should be made public, the San Francisco Chronicle recently provided it. Fortunately, Sutter County Sherriff Brandon Barnes was strong on the side of gun-owners and did right.
Earlier this year on Jan. 10th, the San Francisco Chronicle sent a public records request to Sherriff Barnes demanding to know personal information about concealed carry permit applications and current permit holders. No surprise here, but the newspaper did not say why the info was needed. However, the Chronicle felt that information was crucial to the 22 million monthly readers it reaches as one of the top-five largest newspapers on the West Coast.
Sheriff Barnes balked, sticking to his guns (and gun owners) as a strong protector of law-abiding American citizens’ Second Amendment rights. The county council advised against withholding the information and said he needed to provide some of the data. Sheriff Barnes did one better. He sent a proactive letter to concealed carry permit applicants and permit holders that some of their information was given to the press, even though he “personally declined” to do so.
2nd Point to Ponder: Pennsylvania Elementary School Calls Cops on Special Needs Kindergartner for Harmless Finger Gun Gesture
Last November, according to a local CBS news report, “Margot (a 6-year-old kindergartner who has Down syndrome) became frustrated and made a gesture that sparked a disciplinary investigation.” The girl’s mother acknowledged that Margot pointed her finger at a teacher and said, “I shoot you.”
While that’s certainly inappropriate behavior, it’s also hardly beyond the pale of a young child who’s experiencing a moment of aggravation.
Notwithstanding Margot’s young age, developmental challenges, and obvious inability to discharge an actual projectile from her bare finger, school officials convened a “threat assessment.”
That process, Margot’s mother told the CBS reporter, determined that “nobody was in harm’s way” and that Margot “didn’t even really know what she was saying.”
Unfortunately, school officials then turned what could have been a teachable moment in the importance of choosing words and gestures carefully into a master’s class on bureaucratic rigidity and ineptitude.
. . . . .
So school officials called the cops on 6-year-old Margot.
3rd Point to Ponder: Television Shows Misrepresenting Facts: “FBI: Most Wanted” showing mass public shooting at gun range - How many mass public shootings have there been at gun ranges? Zero. In fact, 94% all the mass public shootings take place at places where guns are banned. But the television show isn’t interested in realism, but want to push back against the narrative that armed people can stop these types of attacks. The show ignores there is a reason that these attackers stay clear of areas where people can defend themselves. In fact, there are dozens of cases in recent years where people legally carrying guns have stopped these attacks. In case any viewer missed the point that there was an attack that occurred in a place with lots of civilians having guns, one of the FBI agents makes the point clear to viewers. Even later in the show, a television news report repeats the point again.
The show also has the murderer using a suppressor and that makes it more difficult for the FBI to stop the killer. (FBI Most Wanted S1 E5 Tuesday, February 11, 2020)
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: "[W]here there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community." Benjamin Rush, 1788
Closing Thoughts: Democrat Debate Group Think: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) admitted that every other attempt at gun control failed and what’s really needed is more gun control.
“We need to think of this problem not as one and done or three things and done,” Sen. Warren explained. “We just keep coming back. We treat it like the public health emergency that it is.”
Sen. Sanders agreed. He said reinstating the failed ban on semiautomatic rifles was just the start.
“We make certain that we end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country, and we go further,” he said. “We go further, but at the bottom line is I will not be intimidated by the NRA.”
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
**As a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the February 9, 2020 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/802388529
One-tap Mobile: +19292056099,,802388529# US (New York)
Dial by location: +19292056099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 802 388 529
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adSioEAVyf