Anti Gun Rights Bills Summary Spring of 2009

 Urban politicians use guns and gunowners as scapegoats instead of addressing the real causes of crime.   This is as scientific as the doctors of old who were convinced that they could cure all disease by bleeding their patients.  If the patient died, they didn’t bleed him enough.   This failure to face reality does nothing to ensure the security or safety of the law-abiding citizens of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, instead it prohibits them from protecting themselves and their families from increasingly ruthless criminal elements.  Sponsors of these bills claim they will fight crime or prevent criminal behavior; however they don’t focus on criminal behavior.  Instead, they focus only on the guns as the reason for crime in their neighborhoods. As an analogy, this line of thought would effectively ignore the fault of motor vehicle operators in any motor vehicle accident, and just blame the car or the auto dealers rather than the driver who ran the light.

 

 Like doctors of old who turned their back on bleeding, lawmakers who study the issue with scientific objectivity will acknowledge that the problem is not the availability of guns on the street; it’s the failure to remove criminals FROM the street.  Noticeably absent in any of these proposed bills is an initiative to build more prisons for repeat criminals and to prohibit early releases of violent criminals due to prison overcrowding.  Also, these bills fail miserably to address the ongoing problem of prosecutor’s plea bargaining away OR failing to apply violations of existing state gun laws. District attorneys, prosecutors and judges willingly allow and condone this because it makes their jobs easier.  Yet they scream the mantra: “We need more gun laws”.  Currently, there are enough existing gun laws to resolve the so-called “gun crime” issue.  Yet many present laws are not enforced.

 

            As a whole, this barrage of legislation would accomplish only one thing: the elimination, for ALL intents and purposes, of Pennsylvania citizens’ constitutionally protected rights to legally bear arms. Certain lawmakers wish to ban our right to keep & bear arms, and in doing so, set a landmark precedent for other states to follow.   Passing more useless laws against law abiding citizens, as a politically correct solution, does nothing to address the real problem of criminals on our streets:  criminals preying on law-abiding citizens and putting police officers’ lives at risk. 

FYI      1st degree felony: up to 20 years in jail & maximum $25,000 fine.

            2nd degree felony: up to 10 years in jail & maximum $25,000 fine.

            3rd degree felony: up to 7 years in jail & maximum $15,000 fine.

            1st degree misdemeanor: up to 5 years in jail & maximum $10,000 fine.

            2nd degree misdemeanor: up to 2 years in jail & maximum $5,000 fine.

            3rd degree misdemeanor: up to 1 year in jail & maximum $2,500 fine.

 

Under current PA law, anyone using a firearm in the commission of a crime can have an additional 5-year mandatory sentence that can be imposed on them, if the courts do their job.

 

Any ungraded offense in the Uniform Firearm Act is a first-degree misdemeanor, which means upon conviction you LOSE your constitutional right to firearm ownership for the REST of your life. 

 

Pennsylvania pays for instant check – a job that most states let the feds do for free.   Perhaps this is why PICS has never issued a cost-benefit analysis. 

The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) from 1998 to 2008 has cost the tax payers in excess of 130,000,000.00 dollars to administer to date for background checks for all firearm purchases. The federal NICS would do the same job for no additional cost to taxpayers.

Here are the results of all that money spent, do the math, what is the cost to ONLY catch someone that was later successfully prosecuted for more additional taxpayer money.

1998-2004 a total of 57,283 people denied.

 1998-2004 a total arrests of 1,181 people

   1998-2004 a total conviction of ONLY 637 people

     1998-2004 a total referral to the ATF for concurrent jurisdiction of ONLY 59 people

The PA State Police wasted nearly $130 million operating the duplicative Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) system between 1998 and 2007, which would have been done at ‘no’ cost to gun owners or Pennsylvania by the National Instant Check system,  a part of which is the retention and maintenance of an illegal database of gun owners.  How many crimes have the state police solved by the staggering amount of money spent? 

ANTI-GUN HOUSE BILLS

 

HB 132    Drug-free school zone, weapon possession, criminal trespass; solicitation of minors to traffic drugs; on school property or private residential rehabilitative institution (Amend 18 Pa.C.S.)

 

INTRODUCED BY KILLION, GODSHALL, SIPTROTH AND VULAKOVICH

 

This legislation would expand gun free (victim disarmament) zones to now include private residential rehabilitative institution without exception for lawful concealed carry of a firearm.

 

Since the institution of ‘gun free zones’ shootings in these zones have increased over 500%.

 

 

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HB 346 - Ballistics ID of Bullets & Mandatory Use of Trigger Locks.

 

INTRODUCED BY BISHOP, COHEN, DONATUCCI, FRANKEL, GOODMAN AND YOUNGBLOOD

 

      This legislation is an attempt to limit access to a firearm for self defense. Every handgun except antique models (there is ‘no’ legal definition of ‘antique’) MUST be equipped with a trigger lock.

      In addition, NO handgun may be sold or transferred unless a digitized or electronic image of its fired bullet and shell casing is placed in a qualified database along with make, model, caliber, serial number and ballistics identifier.

 

Overview:  This intrusive law imposes a greater burden on, and will increase the prices of firearms for, the honest citizen.  It is yet another proposed law that does nothing to prevent a criminal from illegally using a firearm.

 

Other states (New York, Maryland, etc.) have implemented similar ‘Ballistics ID’ programs with no reduction in crime or even ANY crimes being solved with this added information.  A huge waste of our taxpayer money!  Anyone who sells or has the intent to sell or transfer a handgun without a ballistics identifier will be subjected to a civil penalty of $7,500 to $15,000 and a fine from $500 to $1,000 for each handgun. Since criminals typically don’t buy handguns from dealers, this merely creates another burden for the law-abiding citizen attempting to purchase or sell a firearm.  Note:  These identifiers are easily rendered useless through the intentional alteration of parts or over time, with use and wear of the firearm yet still it is sold to the public as a crime fighting bill.

 

 

HB 357- An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for licensing of dealers.   

 

INTRODUCED BY D. O'BRIEN, BRIGGS, CARROLL, COHEN, FRANKEL, HARHAI, HARPER, KIRKLAND, KORTZ, MILLER, MUNDY, MURT, SABATINA, SIPTROTH, K. SMITH, SWANGER AND WALKO

 

This legislation requires that FFL dealers conduct a complete background check on ANY PERSON acting on their behalf in their store or at a gun show every three years.   They must maintain these records and have a check done every three years.  Failure to perform these checks or to have adequate documentation is a Misdemeanor 1 crime resulting in loss of firearms ownership rights and the termination of their ability to sell guns without ‘any’ need for proof of criminal intent.

 

Since 1994 Pennsylvania has lost over 9000 Federal Firearms Licensed dealers with no connection to actually reducing crime whatsoever.`

 

 

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HB 375  – ALL Firearms Registration Act.

 

INTRODUCED BY CRUZ, YOUNGBLOOD, M. O'BRIEN, KIRKLAND, JOSEPHS, McGEEHAN AND THOMAS

           OverviewAmerica has gun registration via the (federal) Gun Control Act of 1968, which requires gun dealers who go out of business to turn over their records to the government, which, as a result, has many millions of records. The GCA'68' also requires extensive gun dealer record keeping requirements that are open for review virtually 24 hours a day as a prerequisite to approval of licensing to sell a firearm.  Besides normal business attrition, 2/3 of America's gun dealers were forced under Clinton's BATF (federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), due to restrictive changes in license renewals, to allow for expanded, unannounced and warrant less searches of their records and premises.

 

The costs to our society to register 70 million American households are extremely high.  Database experts project that you need 19,000 changes daily, just to keep up with people who move every ten years.  How many criminals will register their guns when all is said and done?  That's right, none, and the planners know that.  All that money and time is invested on tracking the innocent who, if they fail to register their guns, would become felons without committing a crime.  Activity that is a common practice and has been perfectly legal suddenly becomes a crime for non-compliance and makes you a felon.  Think about that.  Possession of private property would subject you to felony arrest, if the property isn't on the government's master list.  No other evil is needed, there is no victim and no inherent criminal act takes place.

 

Will this registration of firearms affect criminals-NO.  The U.S. Supreme Court, in a widely known case (Haynes v. U.S., 1968), has already determined that a felon who has a gun cannot be compelled to complete such forms, because it violates the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  That's right, registration -- in the case of a criminal -- is a self-indictment of a crime, and is therefore prohibited.

 

1)      You are required to register all of your firearms with the PA state police, other than machine guns or “antique firearms”.

 

2)      Beginning with, and every year after registration begins, you are required to submit or provide all the following personal information in your renewal application for every firearm you own:

- Your name

-  Your home address

-  Your business address

-  Your telephone number

-  Your birth date

-  Your social security number

-  Your age & citizenship

         -  The name, make, model, manufacture, caliber or gauge and serial number for

            every firearm.

         -  Two passport sized photos taken less than 30 days prior to your renewal.

         -  $10 per firearm application fee every year.

         -  You also must submit your fingerprints to the PA state police. 

 

3)      If you are approved to continue to own your firearms, you will be issued an owner’s registration certificate with your photo, along with your other personal information, for each firearm. You must carry your registration at all times with that firearm, and you must show “your papers” to any police officer upon demand.

 

4)      Your additional duties as a registered firearm owner:

-          You must notify the state police within 48 hours of the loss, theft or destruction of a firearm, or the registration certificate for it.

-          Any change of any information on the registration certificate must be reported within 48 hours.

-          If you sell one of your registered guns or buy or transfer a firearm, you must notify the state police not less than 48 hours prior to delivery.

-          You must return to the state police the original registration certificate for any firearm is lost, stolen, destroyed or disposed of with 48 hours.

 

5)         You must keep any firearm in your possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by trigger lock or stored in a gun safe unless the firearm is in your immediate possession or under control at your home, your business, or while you are still allowed to use it in lawful recreational purposes.

 

6)      The PA state police are empowered to make up any additional rules or regulations that they deem fit to allow you the privilege of keeping your registered firearms.

 

 The proposed fee is only $10 per firearm, however expect future increases to fully administer all sections of this act.  Also watch the summary offense for violating any section of this act change to a misdemeanor or a felony, with real jail time and a very large fine.

 

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HB 401 – Handgun Safety, Testing & Certification; providing for implementation of personalized handgun requirements and forfeiture of certain handguns.

 

INTRODUCED BY YOUNGBLOOD, CRUZ, BROWN, BISHOP, & JOSEPHS

          

This bill creates a new “safety standard” of “smart guns” (guns personalized to a specific user) that can be fired only by the authorized user or users. Four years after the adoption of this safety standard bill, all non-compliant handguns become contraband and may not be sold, offered for sale, traded, or transferred, or possessed by you, under the penalty of a felony of the third degree.  Additionally, such handguns may not be sold, offered for sale, traded, transferred, shipped or leased or distributed by dealers after four years from the adoption of this bill. 

 

In the simplest of terms, if the bill becomes law, whether the practical technology to manufacture a “smart gun” exists or not, all other handguns will be illegal to possess, own, sell or transfer. There will be no compensation for the taking of your private property.  However, as it will be a crime to own a “dumb” handgun, your property will be worthless.  This is another bill that makes criminals out of law abiding gun owners with no focus on criminals that happen to use a firearm to commit crime.  See also SB 295 for similar worded bill.

 

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HB 492    An Act amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929, providing for measures to detect and track potential and existing public health emergencies, for declaring state of public health emergency, for control of property and persons during state of public health emergency and for public information regarding and planning for public health emergencies; and establishing the Public Health Emergency Planning Commission.

 

INTRODUCED BY K. SMITH, BELFANTI, BRENNAN, BUXTON, CALTAGIRONE, CARROLL, FRANKEL, GEORGE, GRUCELA,

HORNAMAN, KOTIK, LONGIETTI, MANDERINO, MELIO, MUNDY, MURT, M. O'BRIEN, READSHAW, SANTONI, SCAVELLO,

SIPTROTH, STURLA, THOMAS, YOUNGBLOOD AND YUDICHAK

 

This proposed bill would greatly expand the powers and scope of Counterterrorism Planning, Preparedness and Response Act under a declared state of emergency by the governor.

Despite doing away with individual constitutional rights of the citizens for the greater good, contained in this bill is the power for some appointed bureaucrat to control, restrict, regulate and prohibit possession,  use, sale, dispensing, distribution or transportation of food, fuel, clothing, alcoholic beverages,  firearms, explosives and combustibles through confiscation or other means.  There is a provision already in PA law that prohibits the governor from anyone having the ability to regulate, or the confiscation of firearms and ammunition under any declared state of emergency

 

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HB 732 -  An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for sale or transfer of firearms.

 

INTRODUCED BY, CRUZ, YOUNGBLOOD AND McGEEHAN,

 

This proposed bill would require your personal information, along with a photograph of yourself to buy, sell or transfer a firearm.  All of this collected information will go into the Pa State Police illegal firearm database to be retained for some future purpose.   

 

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HB 742 -  An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for the offense of carrying a firearm in the Capitol.

 

CRUZ, YOUNGBLOOD, McILVAINE SMITH, CALTAGIRONE, M. O'BRIEN, McGEEHAN, SIPTROTH, JOSEPHS AND SWANGER (Removed by Request)

 

 The people house, that law abiding Citizens who have carried firearms for well over a hundred years suddenly we can’t be trusted with possession when we come to talk with our elected employees to remind them who they work for by Creating a new gun free zone at the Harrisburg capital complex. 

 

Article one section 21: The right of the people to keep and bear firearms in defense of them selves or of the state shall not be questioned, 

 

 What part of the Pennsylvania Constitution do they not understand?

 

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HB 1043Establishing the Bureau of Illegal Firearms Trafficking within the Office of Attorney General; providing for its powers and duties; and requiring an annual report to the General Assembly

 

INTRODUCED BY, THOMAS, JOSEPHS, M. O'BRIEN, YOUNGBLOOD AND PAYTON,

 

This proposal creates a new, and soon afterward, expanding bureaucracy to justify it existence.  Taxpayers’ resources would be better spent on proven crime fighting techniques rather than creating a redundant government agency.

 

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HB 1044 - Ammunition, limitations on regulation, municipal powers (Amend 18 and 53 Pa.C.S)

 

THOMAS, JOSEPHS, M. O'BRIEN, YOUNGBLOOD AND PAYTON,

 

This is a very bad idea. If passed, this legislation will balkanize Pennsylvania with a patchwork quilt of inconsistent gun laws that will confuse and ensnare the unsuspecting Citizens with conflicting local ordinances.  It will let local political subdivisions make up any type regulation they want in respect to ammunition or firearms possession. 

 

.  It will let local political subdivisions have the Authority to establish their own firearm laws without the requirement of being uniform throughout the state

 

In effect any political subdivisions can regulate the following and much more not invented yet:

 

1) Sales of firearms, and additional waiting periods & background checks

2) Possession of firearms or ammunition

3) Gun club firing ranges and the discharging of firearms

4) Sales and transfers of firearms and ammunition or components

5) Storage of firearms and ammunition

6) Possession, carrying, or “manner of carrying” of firearms reasonably in

    zones surrounding schools, playgrounds, universities, colleges, bars or other places of

    general public accommodations.

7) Ownership, possession, transfer, and transportation of so called assault weapons. 

 

In short this legislation will open the door for every form of gun control that any anti-gunner could ever think of.  Even worse, it could be enacted anywhere in the state. This would be a costly legal nightmare for gun owners in PA, to comply with the possibility of thousands of disparate local laws depending on which municipality you reside in or travel through.

 

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HB 1045  Prohibiting Certain Assault Weapons -An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in firearms and other dangerous articles

 

INTRODUCED BY THOMAS JOSEPHS, M. O'BRIEN, YOUNGBLOOD AND PAYTON

 

This is another bad bill, it creates a new category of common semi-automatic firearm called “assault weapons” that will be illegal to own, sell or even posses for now it only includes SKS rifles which fire a 7.62x39mm(.308 caliber) round.  At some future point the list of other types of similar semi-automatic firearms will be expand to include many others now owned and used by NRA competitive shooters and many other law abiding gun owners in PA.

 

If your semi-automatic firearms are ever classified as ”assault weapons” you will have a very short time period to give them away before you are made into a criminal for thinking you have a Constitutional right to still own the firearms you might have owned for a decade or more

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HB 1070  An Act providing for child firearm safety lock mechanisms.

 

INTRODUCED BY WATERS, YOUNGBLOOD, PARKER, M. O'BRIEN AND DENLINGER

 

Require all FFL dealers to supply firearm locking mechanism, when selling or transferring a firearm.

Also provides civil immunity for anyone that can prove that their firearms were secure prior to illegal access.

 

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HB 1080  An Act amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for sentences for carrying a firearm without a license.

 

INTRODUCED BY WATERS, YOUNGBLOOD, M. O'BRIEN AND DONATUCCI

 

Increases the penalty for a prohibited person that illegally carries a firearm, which would be a good thing.

If they actually prosecuted repeat criminals for violations of this existing law.   

 

The bad news it now makes a jail sentence for normal law abiding Citizens that doesn’t know or understand all the complicated existing firearms and doesn’t have a License To Carry Firearms. They could now go to jail plus lose their firearm rights without any criminal intent.  Free people should not need a permission slip from the government before exercising a Constitutional right if there is no criminal intent, we shouldn’t be trying to make criminals out them because they didn’t buy a license first.   

 

See also SB 412  it’s very similarly worded.. For reasons why this bill is just more of a long line of bad ideas, all of which do nothing at all to address the crime control problem.

 

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ANTI-GUN SENATE BILLS

 

SB 26 - Mental health procedures act, confidentiality of records; Federal Bureau of Investigation, using National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index established by Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act   

 

INTRODUCED BY WASHINGTON, FONTANA, GREENLEAF AND KITCHEN

 

Loosens the medical confidentiality requirements in law to let more people have access to your past history and allows state police to share this information with the FBI for use with the Brady act.  Note PA does not use the Brady act to conduct background checks for firearm purchases. We use PICS (Pa Instant Check System) which cost more for the PSP to administer that NICS would so why should we pay extra cost to do the same thing twice?

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SB-27  - Limit on handgun purchases

 

INTRODUCED BY WASHINGTON, FONTANA, GREENLEAF AND KITCHEN,

 

Creates a new section of law 6111.6 in title 18 and is very similar language to SB 35.

This will mandate that no one can purchase more than one handgun in any 30 day period.

 

This legislation will mandate that no one could buy more than one handgun per month.  This has been tried in other states with no reduction in crime.  Maryland and Virginia have it and Baltimore and Richmond have higher homicide rates than Philadelphia.  South Carolina was the first state to adopt one gun a month and was the first state to abandon this failed idea.  This bill would also affect municipal powers to regulate firearms and ammunition in any manor they wish, including punitively again Citizen’s that choose to use their Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms.  

 

Right now straw purchasers break the existing laws with impunity, and only get caught because they do so many the sheer number of them they leave an easy to follow paper trail right back to them, sad fact is when finally caught they are not aggressively prosecuted as provided by existing law.  People who sell firearms unlawfully can be charged with the same crime that the buyer used the gun for and face similar civil liability. 

 

What this bill will most certainly create is a new expensive administrational bureaucracy to oversee this program.  It will, of course, require a massive database of all gun owners’ personal information to make it operational.  This has been tried in other states with no reduction in crime.  Again, the taxpayers and gun owners would be burdened with paying for the upkeep of this database registration system.  This bill also creates a new anti-gun bureaucracy called the Violence Prevention Fund.

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SB-35  – Limit on handgun purchases and sales in Cities of First Class - Amends title 18 section 6111.6

 

INTRODUCED BY TARTAGLIONE, FONTANA, WASHINGTON, WILLIAM, HUGHES AND KITCHEN

 

 Creates a new section of law 6111.6 in title 18 and is very similar language to SB 27.

This will mandate that no one can purchase more than one handgun per 30 day period in cities of the first class (Philadelphia). See SB 27 for the right questions to be asked before enactment of this ill conceived proposed bill should be brought up for a vote.

 

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SB-36  Registry for lost or stolen, failure to report, State Police duties (Amend 18 Pa.C.S.)

 

INTRODUCED BY TARTAGLIONE, FONTANAM, WASHINGTON, WILLIAMS, HUGHES, AND KITCHEN

 

Creates yet another new section of law 6111.5 in title 18 . It requires any owner or other person lawfully in possession

 of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of a weapon shall report the facts and circumstances to the police department

 having jurisdiction within 24 hours of the discovery. A person failing to report a loss or theft of a firearm commits

a misdemeanor of the third degree.  No provision is made for the return your firearm if its recovered.

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SB-96  - Firearms not to be carried without a license Amends title 18 section 6106 (a)

 

INTRODUCED BY A. WILLIAMS, KITCHEN, WASHINGTON, TARTAGLIONE, HUGHES AND FARNESE

 

This legislation allows the state to confiscate vehicles and vessels if a passenger is carrying a firearm unlawfully. Considering all the complicated existing firearm laws it would be easy for a non criminal act to lose not only your firearm but forfeit your property as well.  It also prohibits the owner from filing a claim in court for return of his property.

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SB-97   Handguns, purchasing; licenses, permits, applications, adding section (Amend 18 Pa. C.S.)

 

INTRODUCED BY WILLIAMS, KITCHEN, WASHINGTON, TARTAGLIONE, HUGHES AND FARNESE

 

It creates a large new section of law 6105.2 in title 18 . It requires everyone to get a $5 permit (permission slip) from the government before you could purchase, give or complete the transfer of EACH handgun. You also will have to be fingerprinted prior to being allowed to exercise a Constitutional right and wait up to 30 days before a permit is issued. The permit is only good for 90 days to acquire the firearm and it MAY be renewed for an addition 90 days if you can provide a good cause.

 

This propose bill Creates a large list of new prohibitions that allow some bureaucrat to decide if they will let you exercise the PRIVILAGE of being allowed to acquire a firearm. If you made a foolish mistake when you were much younger and learned from your past indiscretions and have since turned your life around, that long ago past event now could possibly prohibit from owning a firearm today.  New prohibition items include things that happen in your past like a DUI, a veteran that sought mental help from combat experience, people that sought or were forced to under go counseling for a perceived mental problem, past history of drugs dependency, membership in organizations including, but not limited to, any politically incorrect group that the government may declare as anti-government.

 

The bill also makes it illegal to purchase or have possession of short barrel shotguns by anyone, with no exemption listed for police departments.

 

The prosecutor of any county, the chief police officer of any municipality or ANY citizen may apply to the court of common pleas at ANY time to REVOKE your permit(s) with or without a good cause. You would have to hire a lawyer to defend your privilege in court whether you did anything wrong or not, it could be done for a frivolous or politically motivated reasons.   Sure would be nice if this same standard would be allowed to apply to revoke early paroled repeat violent criminals that are routinely set loose to prey on average Citizens or puts our police officers at risk.  Again gun owners are held to a higher accountable level than are criminals so how will another useless gun control law stop a crime?

 

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SB-98 Restrictions License To Carry Firearms in First Class City

 

INTRODUCED BY. WILLIAMS, WASHINGTON, KITCHEN, HUGHES, TARTAGLIONE, AND FARNESE

 

This legislation would roll back the clock and allow Philadelphia to return to the days when only the politically connected could get a license to carry a firearm.  Everyone else is left with two uncomfortable choices, either be a (government disarmed) victim of the criminals or illegally carry a firearm for self defense and take your chances not to be caught as a victim of a unjust law.

 

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SB-293 - altering or obliterating marks of identification

 

INTRODUCED BY HUGHES, STACK, KITCHEN WASHINGTON AND FONTANA

 

These changes would give police the ability to destroy any confiscated firearms when the legal owner can’t be located after a “reasonable” time of only 120 days. It modifies title 18 sections 6111(c) and 6111.1 (b), 6117. This bill prohibits any law enforcement agency to sell or transfer any confiscated firearm, which is commendable. The bad thing in this bill is this: It only requires the police to make a “reasonable” effort to find the legal owner of any confiscated firearms before they are destroyed. Conveniently absent from this bill is the definition of “reasonable effort”.

 

This bill also creates a new section 6117.1 relating to destruction of confiscated firearms: this would create a confiscated firearm database, and specific methods and procedures for the destruction of confiscated firearms, including making that “reasonable” effort to find the legal owner and failing to identify the lawful owner of the destruction process. The only exception is a stay of destruction if the confiscated firearm is evidence pertinent to an on going investigation or in a criminal prosecution or civil litigation.  As soon as that is completed all confiscated firearms not claimed by their lawful owners will be destroyed.

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SB 295 - Weapons; persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell, or transfer, adding felony offenses (Amend 18 Pa.C.S.) Smart Gun Technology

 

INTRODUCED BY HUGHES, WASHINGTON AND LEACH

 

This bill creates a new “safety standard” of “smart guns” (guns personalized to a specific user) that can be fired only by the authorized user or users. Six months after the approved operational smart gun list is submitted, all non-compliant handguns may not be sold, offered for sale, traded, transferred, or transported into PA by licensed dealers.  So you may keep your existing” dumb” handgun for now, your property will be virtually worthless, because you can’t sell, trade or transfer it in PA to another person.

 

See HB 401 FOR REVIEW, it’s very similarly worded.  This is another extremely bad piece of proposed legislation that does nothing to focus on existing criminal behavior. 

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SB 412 - An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for the offense of carrying a firearm without a license

 

INTRODUCED BY FARNESE, HUGHES, FONTANA, KITCHEN AND WASHINGTON

 

Increases the penalty for a prohibited person that illegally carries a firearm, which would be a good thing.

If they actually prosecuted repeat criminals for violations of this existing law.   

 

The bad news it now makes the jail sentence the same for normal law abiding Citizens that doesn’t know or understand all the complicated existing firearms and doesn’t have a License To Carry Firearm permit. They could now go to jail plus lose their firearm rights without any criminal intent.  Free people should not need a permission slip from the government before exercising a Constitutional right if there is no criminal intent we shouldn’t be trying to make criminals out them because they didn’t buy a license first.   

 

See also HB 1080 it’s very similarly worded.  This is another extremely bad piece of proposed legislation that does nothing to focus on existing criminal behavior. 

 

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SB 500 - An Act amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in sentencing, further providing for sentences for offenses committed with firearms

 

INTRODUCED BY STACK, STOUT, HUGHES, FONTANA, TARTAGLIONE, ALLOWAY, RAFFERTY, ERICKSON, WILLIAMS AND WOZNIAK,

 

This is bill that has a supportable concept at the core with LOTS of rewording and elimination of text it could be something gun owners could support, except not in its current form it exists right now we can’t.

 

This bill trades on the emotions of a police officer murdered by a repeat, violent, criminal offender with a long history of firearm laws violations that, had the existing penalties been imposed to begin with, would have resulted in that police officer would being alive today. Nothing in this proposed bill as written would have changed the out come of that police officers fate. Except keeping that repeat violent criminal locked behind bars under the numerous existing firearm laws that the criminal violated in the past would have.

 

The bill as written is flawed by making one type firearm used in a crime more server punishment that a similar firearm used in the same crime based on cosmetic looks, action or part, not on the actual crime committed or by the repeat, violent offenders actions as it should be, it just makes it a greater crime if they use a semi-automatic firearms.

 

This bill Demonize and creates a new category of common semi-automatic firearm typical called “assault weapons” now owned and used by NRA competitive shooters and many other law abiding gun owners in PA, that used if used in the commission of crime makes it a larger crime because of the illegal use of a certain semi-automatic firearms.

 

Making laws with increased penalty based on just cosmetic feature, such as  type of action, ammunition used or characteristics of a particular  firearm makes about as much sense as making it a greater penalty for a criminal to be wearing shoes as to going barefoot.

 

Everyone knows if most people are barefoot they couldn’t flee the scene of a crime as fast as people wearing shoes could.        So lets pass a common sense law making it illegal to wear shoes or making  certain types like sandals exempt, or make it illegal to own or use running shoes to prevent crime, after all who really need a high performance shoe for more than walking anyway?

 

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SB 573 - An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for the offense of failure to provide identification to law enforcement

 

INTRODUCED BY CORMAN, BAKER, RAFFERTY, ORIE, BOSCOLA, LOGAN, BRUBAKER, O'PAKE, STOUT, WOZNIAK, ERICKSON, TOMLINSON, WAUGH AND ALLOWAY

 

WE don’t live in a police state yet, WE still have a Constitution that protects Citizens Rights and Freedoms.  We shouldn’t have to present or even carry our personal identification papers 24/7 in a free country or be ask by police “Your paper please” like you would you have to do in some communist countries, let alone making it a crime if you fail to comply with “a request” from law enforcement for “your papers” or let the police detain you in a “reasonable manor” and for a “reasonable time” till they can verify your identification.  What is a reasonable manor to detain you, handcuffed in back of a squad car in the hot sweltering summer heat with the windows rolled up till you give? What is a reasonable time an hour, the end of their 8 hour shift,24 hours, or till you have to the bathroom and you give in to their “request”.  This is ripe for abuse and lawsuits challenging the Constitutionality of this, we as free Americans shouldn’t go down such a dark path.

 

This is still America; we didn’t have so many American’s spill their blood fighting oppressive dictatorial government overseas just to adopt the same polices in this country.

 

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PROPOSED LEGISLATION FOR CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT

 

All of these following quick fix solutions to correct perceived problems with how current government operates generally falls into one of these following categories. Listed in this brief overview is a summary of why all of the current Constitutional proposals won’t solve the problems they are intended to fix.

 

Constitutional Conventions

 

A Constitutional Convention is intended to address certain defects in governmental operations OR to rewrite the entire form of government in accordance with the delegates selected by the political powers that be extant at the time of the call for the convention.  Proponents of this concept see this as the best way to reform government without fully investigating what is at fault now.  Reducing the size of government is more about shrinking the bureaucracy and NOT in shrinking representation, which is the eventual goal of proponents in PA.  The TRUE problem with PA government is a lack of accountability and responsibility for ones’ actions.

 

Some proponents state that a constitutional convention can be controlled and yet every constitutional scholar flatly states that no controls can be effective over delegates to this process as it is out of the hands of legislators at that point.

 

Referendum ballots

Referendum ballots initiatives on the surface sound like a great idea, direct power to the people and all. In reality large corporations

and special interest groups with deep pocket could fund a manufactured popular supported referendum proposal to provide perceived

short cuts to achieve noble sounding goals if they a enough money to convince 51% of the voters to change anything. 

 This direct referendum ballots initiatives have the power to rewrite or eliminate any part of our entire Constitution Rights,

 including article one section 21 the right to bear arms in defense of ourselves or the state.

Do you really want to trust uninformed, uneducated, and easy to be manipulated voters to decide what your individual

Constitutional protected rights are going to be?    Several states have enacted limited referendum ballots initiatives

have you witness all kinds of wonderful rights and enhancements coming from these states?

 

Reductions in the size of elected Representatives in the House and Senate

 

Currently We have 203 house members and 50 senators elected to office that represent everyone that lives in one of the 67 counties in PA. Everyone one PA essentially pays the sane rate of state taxes in PA no matter where you live, but does the people that live outside of the few big cities in PA every receive the same share of that tax money invested back into their communities?.

 

Elected Representation is based on population density in both houses, not on geography, so is it any wonder that the big cities having more people living in a small area have more elected representatives.  Is it less wonder these big cities Reps dominate where everyone else money is spent, which laws are created that benefit who and why the areas outside of the cities historically have little growth or investments made to expand business opportunities outside of the cities?

 

If we allow the numbers of the legislators to be reduced in size, the people outside of the big cities would have even less representation than they have now under the existing system. Right now the elected house Reps from the counties in which the big cities of Philly & Pittsburgh are in account for approximate the size of the house now, throw in the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Lancaster and York. Those 8 counties out of 67 have over half of the elected representation in the house now.

 

What is really need to cut the cost of government is not the size of the current full time legislators but have a part time legislators and staff like other states have would have a better effect in reduction of cost of government operation. 

 

The underlying problem

 

The real problem is we have more people being governed by less people.  Elected legislator, as envisioned by the founding fathers was supposed to be a part time job at most, not a full time career or primary income.

 

For limited time periods they left their careers, jobs, running the farm or business back home to serve the best interest of all the people of the commonwealth.  They coordinated and worked with elected representatives from other parts of the common wealth for the best interest of all, knowing they served for the greater good of everyone, trying to make the lives of the people who elected them a little better, not as a lifelong career politician as many do now.

 

The other part of the problem is we have a great masses of people who fail in their responsibility as watch dogs to make an effort to be informed of what the issues are, to educate themselves on what problems we all face, and to be involved politically in what proposals that their elected  local, county and state representatives are supporting. They're supporting a political party just for ideological reasons even when the party does hot hold to that ideology rather than supporting the best and most qualified person to represent their best interest of their country, state and family.  The voters shouldn’t be re electing people that bring the most pork back home, they shouldn't be for voting based solely on 30 second sound bites or political propaganda to trick them into cast a vote like elections are a popularity contest. We have rampant voter apathy, ignorance and people just don’t care except for what someone running for office will promises to give them with no need to earn it.

 

Sure we have always elected officials that are corrupt or do self serving things that benefit only themselves at the expense of others, this has always been a problem, the difference is the people today don’t hold these officials accountable at election time. So where is the problem?  The elected politicians that promises the people impossible things to get elected, or the people that (for a variety of reasons) re elect them back into office time and again after all the broken campaign promises and failure to deliver?

 

Only YOU, by your active involvement, can stop these gun owner’s nightmares from becoming law.