Committee of the Whole Report 2006
 
Harrisburg, Sep 26-27 Committee of the Whole.

Preliminary report by Harry Schneider, Legislative Chair, Pennsylvania
Sportsmen's Association

Some Philadelphia politicians are desperate to find scapegoats. In the  tradition of New Orleans Mayor Nagin and Chief Compass, the Philly  politicians don't want to be held accountable for the harm caused by their  inept and corrupt practices and policies. Philly politicians arranged a  media circus to blame law abiding gun owners, and the leftstream media
accommodated them. The Harrisburg Patriot even falsely referred to these  Philadelphia politicians and their groups as the "Gun Safety Lobby". A two  day session was scheduled in Harrisburg - called the "Committee of the  Whole" to debate these issues.

Once again, it was my honor to assemble a COALITION of organizations that  seek to preserve freedom in Pennsylvania. The PSA is known as the coalition  builders. I invited every organization known to have influence in Harrisburg  and every organization joined. Once again, we did this quietly, so as not to  give the other side a heads up.

This session began on Sep 26. In additional to numerous demonstrations, the  City of Philadelphia arranged for bus loads of protesters to travel to  Harrisburg. We have credible information that Philadelphia offered to pay  some city workers to go. Uniformed Black Panthers were in attendance.

Radio personality Jim Quinn http://www.warroom.com/ helped to counter this propaganda by telling his  audience the truth. This helped Kim Stolfer coordinate hundreds of 2nd  Amendment supporters to travel to Harrisburg. Our numbers almost equaled  Philadelphia's apparently taxpayer supported efforts.

Rep. Dwight Evans led the effort to destroy gun rights and Rep. Daryl  Metcalfe led the effort to defend the 2nd Amendment.http://www.repmetcalfe.com/

Every time an anti-rights bill was introduced, Rep. Metcalfe rose and argued  against the measure and read organizations that make up our COALITION  opposing this legislation. Each time our position was entered, the bad  legislation was resoundingly defeated. The first such bill to go down as a  result of our Coalition was a copy of Philly legislation introduced by a  Republican.

Predictably, those Philadelphia legislators who wanted to blame gun owners,  also opposed meaningful anti-crime measures like "stand your ground castle  doctrine" and realistic bail for violent offenders.

Rep. Metcalfe also rose to voice COALITION support behind the Cappelli  "stand your ground" legislation and it was passed - by almost a 4-1 margin!


Rep. Dwight Evans broke protocol and engaged Rep. Metcalfe directly,  complaining about our COALITION and how that list of names is preventing  passage of the gun control schemes he needs.

Dwight Evans was obviously frustrated because he and his cohorts have  repeatedly claimed that legislators would vote anti-gun if they did not have  to fear election retaliation from gun groups. However, in a "Committee of  the Whole", no one knows how an individual legislator votes - only total  votes are tallied. The fact that our positions overwhelmingly carried the
day, exposes yet another lie by those who seek to disarm the law abiding. It  is obvious that many Democrats broke ranks and voted pro-gun when their  leaders had no way of knowing how they vote.

Freedom, common sense and the preservation of what remains of our  Constitutionally protected rights carried the day. This occurred because of  the efforts of Rep. Daryl Metcalfe and several other wonderful legislators,  both Republican and Democrat who rose to oppose harmful legislation and to  support "Stand your Ground" (Castle Doctrine). Many votes ran in the 160-40  to 140-60 range, making it obvious that the overwhelming majority of members  of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are good people when they have  good leadership.

Every Coalition member and every individual who traveled to Harrisburg or  who contacted their legislator deserves credit and was a key component in  the victory of truth.

Kim Stolfer (ACSL, FOAC, PSA), Melody Zullinger (PFSC), John Brinson (LVFC)  and Jim Quinn should be singled out for performance above and beyond the  call of duty.

We especially applaud, Rep Metcalfe, Rep Cappelli, and every other State  Representative who introduced good legislation or who rose to oppose bad  legislation. They and their staffs did a super job.

The fight is far from over, but round one was a resounding victory. My email  to Rep. Metcalfe listing the Coalition members and suggesting floor  arguments is reproduced below. Please read it carefully and support the  organizations listed.

After my memo to Rep. Metcalfe, is a summary of the events compiled by our  allies, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.



Harry Schneider, PSA Chairman
Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Assn.,
P.O. Box 2227
Cranberry Twp., PA 16066-1227
e-mail psa@pagunlaws.com

The following organizations OPPOSE the assault on our rights and safety by  certain Philadelphia government officials. We especially oppose gun-a-month  schemes and all legislation that re-victimizes the victim of theft by  criminalizing the failure to report a stolen firearm. We SUPPORT 2006DO2636  (HB 2231 Cappelli Castle doctrine as amended).

COALITION

Allegheny County Sportsmen's League (ACSL),

Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs (PFSC),

Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Association (PSA),

National Rifle Association (NRA),

Gun Owners of America (GOA),

Second Amendment Sisters (SAS),

Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association (PR&PA),

Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Association (PGCA)

Lehigh Valley Firearms Coalition,

Philadelphia Federation of Sportsmen's Club,

Pennsylvania Gun Owners Association (PGOA)

Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania (Unified)

National Association of Firearms Retailers (NAFR),

Pennsylvania State Fish & Game Protective Association,

Clarion Gun Owners,

The Pink Pistols

OpenCarry.org

Firearms Owners Against Crime (FOAC) the largest gun owners Political Action  Committee (PAC) in Pennsylvania will record any support for any of this  legislation, now or in the future, as an anti-gun vote.

WHY IS PHILADELPHIA GOVERNMENT ATTACKING OUR FREEDOMS?

Crime went up in Philadelphia because Philadelphia City officials failed to  provide adequate prison space. They released violent criminals AND reduced  the number of street cops. City officials don't want to blame their actions  or the unhealthy inner-city culture made worse by their failed social  programs and notorious criminal justice system.

Guns are not to blame. Camden New Jersey is adjacent to Philadelphia and has  draconian gun laws. Camden is the most dangerous city in America. Vermont  has always honored the Constitution. Any person who can own a pistol, may  legally carry it concealed anywhere in Vermont without a license. Vermont  has very low crime rates and the lowest number of police officers killed in  the line of duty.

If Philadelphia is subtracted from the equation, Pennsylvania's homicide  rate is as low as Western Europe's and our violent crime rate is lower than  England's. Clearly, something other than gun availability is the cause of  crime.

The Philadelphia gun banners do not offer solutions, they want scapegoats.

For starters, they want to attack your rights in the following ways:

1. Criminalize failing to report that your gun was stolen (re-victimize the  victim of theft).
2. Gun-a-Month Rationing (intended to harm gun shows and collectors).
3. Weaken Preemption - (Let the Philly politicians write their own gun laws  to disarm victims).
4. Ban even manually operated rifles, pistols and shotguns by labeling them  assault weapons.
5. Ballistic fingerprinting.
6. Legalize firearms registration.
7. Mandatory use of trigger locks.
8. Create victim disarmament zones where licensed permit holders will not be  able to resist violent criminals.
9. Require law abiding gun owners to maintain proof of liability insurance.
10. Licensing, called "Accreditation" by the State Police to be allowed to  buy a gun.
11. Whatever else Philadelphia politicians can come up with to blame their  failings on us.


Proponents make false claims that these schemes will reduce crime. All of  these schemes have been studied all have failed as crime control measures.  Philadelphia can reduce crime by keeping real criminals in jail and  restoring the former number of street cops. Philadelphia needs realistic  bail (like the rest of the state). Crime went up in Philadelphia because  Philadelphia City officials failed to provide adequate prison space. They  released violent criminals AND reduced the number of street cops.

 http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/PhiladelphiaInquirer/2006/05/14/1558288?extID=
10032&oliID=213


To reduce crime in Philadelphia, honest Philadelphians need a chance to  elect better government officials. The legislature passed a bill to achieve  election reform, but Governor Ed Rendell vetoed it. The Wall Street Journal  had this to say: "Now governor, Mr. Rendell isn't eager to depart from  business as usual. In 2004, a court had to order him to make changes in the  deadlines for absentee military ballots so they would be counted. At the  same time, his secretary of state asked prison wardens to post a document  outlining how prisoners could vote absentee. When GOP Rep. Curt Weldon held  a news conference to denounce illegal voting by prisoners, a TV camera crew  captured voter operatives behind him carrying absentee ballots out of the  prison."

Governor Rendell and his cronies try to steal votes from active duty  servicemen and illegally give the vote to criminals who have lost the right  to vote while serving in prison. They are the criminal lobby - and criminals  prefer unarmed victims. We cannot let them have their way with our gun  rights.


Additional information about the Committee of the Whole and Philadelphia's  assault on your rights and safety is available at the following websites.

http://www.acslpa.org/

http://www.pfsc.org

http://www.foac-pac.org/


Harry Schneider, PSA Chairman
Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Assn.,
P.O. Box 2227
Cranberry Twp., PA 16066-1227
e-mail psa@pagunlaws.com