ACSL Archives 2018
PLEASE NOTE: We have tried to maintain links where possible,but due to the archival nature of these articles,some links may have changed or be otherwise unavailable.
Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory
Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company will destroy its stock of these commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms along with any accessories for the guns.
Back on February 28, Dick’s CEO Ed Stack issued a letter in which he announced that his company had caved to the demands of anti-gun extremists and adopted a raft of self-imposed gun controls. Stack made clear that the company would discriminate against young adults by refusing to sell rifles and shotguns to those ages 18 to 20 and would no longer sell commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines.
No stranger to virtue-signaling, in 2012 Dick’s halted the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms at its flagship stores following the high-profile shooting in Newtown, Conn. However, when Dick’s launched the outdoors-oriented retailer Field & Stream in 2013, the stores offered an array of modern semi-automatic rifles. The Field & Stream stores have no relation to the popular magazine of the same name.
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania-based retail chain told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that the company is “in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change.” The report noted that the unsold merchandise is being moved to the company’s distribution centers where it is being destroyed. What’s left of the ruined firearms is then being sold for scrap.
Dick’s decision to stop selling certain configurations of semi-automatic firearms was irrational, but the decision to destroy these lawful firearms is unjustifiable. Long-guns of any description are rarely used in crime.
A 2004 federally funded study of the 1994 Clinton semi-auto ban found that “the ban’s impact on “gun violence” is likely to be small at best, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” A 2013 Department of Justice memorandum came to the same conclusion. The memo stated, “a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.” More recently, a study by the Rand Corporation found that there is no conclusive evidence that restricting the sale of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms would impact violent crime.
Dick’s’ ridiculous posturing is further underscored by what the company continues to sell. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigationﾒs Uniform Crime Reporting data rifles of all kinds were used to commit 374 murders in 2016. In contrast, “knives or cutting instruments” were used in 1,604 murders. Dickﾒs and Field & Stream continue to sell a wide variety of “tactical” knives. Moreover, Field & Stream continues to sell handguns. Handguns were used to commit 7,105 murders in 2016.
Dick’s has also offered strong evidence that anti-gun activists continue to be as ignorant about how semi-automatic firearms function as they were in the run-up to the Clinton ban. Despite Dick’s’ outspoken campaign against modern semi-autos, Field & Stream still sells the Ruger Mini-14.
Dick’s’ decision to destroy lawful inventory is likely to raise a few eyebrows among its shareholders. Even with company leadership determined to rid itself of these firearms, donating the rifles to law enforcement would seem more prudent than destruction. The company’s wanton destruction of valuable durable goods is so irrational it tempts a shareholder derivative suit for corporate waste.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. is a Delaware corporation. In the case, In re Citigroup Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, the Delaware Court of Chancery articulated the legal test for a shareholder action for waste, noting,
the Complaint must allege particularized facts that lead to a reasonable inference that the director defendants authorized “an exchange that is so one-sided that no business person of ordinary, sound judgment could conclude that the corporation has received adequate consideration.”
Citing precedent, the court further explained,
“[t]o prevail on a waste claim ... the plaintiff must overcome the general presumption of good faith by showing that the board's decision was so egregious or irrational that it could not have been based on a valid assessment of the corporation's best interests.”
The test is extremely difficult to meet, but in March Dick’s admitted that its earlier anti-gun policies would hurt its bottom line. Stack admitted that the anti-gun policies were “not going to be positive from a traffic standpoint and a sales standpoint.” The CEO also said, “There are going to be the people who don't shop us anymore for anything.” Dick’s’ decision to destroy firearms will only further alienate gun owners.
The only consideration Dick’s is likely to receive for the destruction of its rifles, other than the scrap metal value, is the approval of anti-gun advocates. Given the political awareness and loyalty among gun owners, this consideration will likely prove more a liability than an asset.
Conservation In A Changing Climate
As we approach the annual Earth Day celebration this weekend, one of our biggest challenges is how to respond and adapt to a changing climate. We need to act.
For the past year, staff members from across all of DCNR’s bureaus participated in a rigorous process to determine and prioritize the department’s greatest climate change vulnerabilities and identify strategies to address them.
In the next several months, DCNR will be finalizing a plan that includes objectives to prepare for and mitigate the risks associated with climate impacts.
Here’s where we’re going, with some ideas about how you can join us.
Trees Are The Answer
Very heavy precipitation and flooding have increased significantly in Pennsylvania, and that is expected to continue. Trails, roads and bridges, historical and cultural resources, and more are at risk during flooding.
Extreme rain events also can affect groundwater supply and reduce water quality below public thresholds for recreational use.
Turns out, planting trees, especially along streams, are a big part of the solution. DCNR is leading the effort to protect and restore buffers along streams (known as riparian areas) to control stormwater, and also to keep the water cool for fish, filter pollutants from the land, and provide habitat for wildlife.
Do One Thing
If you can do one thing for the environment during Earth Month, plant a tree! (Especially along a stream, but in your backyard or community is great, too.) Find information to help in Common Trees of Pennsylvania (PDF), through the riparian buffer initiative, or from TreeVitalize.
Check out some of the upcoming Chesapeake Bay Foundation tree planting events.
Corridors For Wildlife
Climate impacts are expected to vary across the landscape in Pennsylvania. Some areas will see significant impacts, while more resistant habitats will become increasingly important for wildlife and conservation planning.
DCNR will work with partners to set conservation priorities through land acquisitions, easements, and stewardship plans to create an interconnected system of habitats that allow species to move north and to higher elevations in response to climate change.
What we plant, how we plant, and where we plant can affect wildlife. Check iConservePA for information on wise planting decisions that can provide benefits to wildlife.
DCNR’s Wild Plant Sanctuary Program is a good idea for larger landowners to participate in a voluntary statewide network of habitat managed to conserve rare native plants.
Forest ecosystems absorb and sequester a significant portion of U.S. carbon emissions. Our forests are expected to change due to the decline of some species, increases in others, hybridization, and immigration of southern species.
As the climate changes, new invasive species are expected to move into the commonwealth, and those already here will increase in abundance.
DCNR will be adjusting its forest management practices to distribute risks, encourage diverse age classes, and work with other state agencies responsible for land management to develop and adopt statewide invasive species best management practices, and decrease forest carbon loss.
Learn more about the DCNR Bureau of Forestryﾒs commitment to manage state forests in an environmentally responsible manner. Use durable wood products harvested from properly managed forests in construction projects to help sequester carbon permanently, and support local jobs in the Pennsylvania forest products industry.
Populations of rare, threatened, and endangered species, especially those near the edge of their range in Pennsylvania, are expected to decline faster and possibly disappear because of climate change and other stressors.
There will be an increased demand for data due to the impacts increased flooding, drought, dry wells, sinkholes, and other climate change impacts.
DCNR will be working with partners to review and expand monitoring to ensure that changes in natural communities, species distribution, and populations are detected. The department will look to develop research projects that look for relationships between the timing and intensity of weather events and sinkholes and landslides.
Become a citizen scientist to help monitor and take care of Pennsylvania’s wildlife, trees, plants, and water. Start by contacting your local state park to see what opportunities are available or check the DCNR calendar.
To Your Health
Human health and safety concerns such as tick and mosquito-borne diseases, severe storms, heat-related illness, and air quality are becoming more of a concern.
The number, geographic distribution, and length of time during the year that ticks and mosquitos are active have been increasing, which also increases exposure to diseases such as Lyme disease.
Preparedness plans to minimize exposure to risks and educate state park and forest visitors will be reviewed and updated by DCNR.
Enjoy the outdoors, but remember to prevent tick bites (PDF). When outdoors, always wear light-colored clothing (ticks stand out better), spray tick repellents on your clothes, tuck pants into socks, and do a “tick check” upon returning home.
Showering also is recommended after a day afield, as well laundering, then drying clothes in an electric dryer on high heat setting.
With 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of state forests, DCNR maintains a lot of buildings, bridges, roads, and more. Infrastructure will be significantly challenged by higher temperatures, increased flooding, and periodic drought.
The department will continue its significant work throughout the past several years on energy conservation and renewable energy in our hundreds of buildings and vehicle fleet, including high-performance buildings, solar panels, and electric vehicles.
iConservePA reminds us of the many ways we can make strategic improvements and use efficient practices to save energy, water, and money. You can learn about the department’s sustainable practices, such as high-performance buildings, or watch a video about DCNR’s green efforts for inspiration.
As part of its climate change adaptation efforts, DCNR will emphasize the importance of public engagement and place-based citizen science, and incorporate climate change into the daily conversations staff have with visitors.
Staff will need more training and expertise on topics related to climate science, adaptation, and mitigation.
Implementing solutions requires learning and talking about the problems. We’ll be talking about climate change impacts and solutions as we roll out our adaptation practices.
Two years from now when we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, DCNR hopes to have laid the framework for a more resilient and sustainable Pennsylvania.
Happy Earth Day!
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNRﾒs website, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog, Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
Source: PA DCNR
U.S. House Passes NRA-Backed Bill to Protect Second Amendment Rights of America’s Veterans
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, sponsored by Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate.
H.R. 1181 in many respects mirrors a recently enacted resolution to repeal an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that sought to deprive certain SSA beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights.
A federal statute prohibits firearm acquisition or possession by anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective.” The statute, however, does not define the meaning of this term.
Like the SSA, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) interprets the phrase very broadly. It considers any VA beneficiary who is declared “incompetent” to manage his or her benefits and assigned a fiduciary for assistance to be a prohibited “mental defective.”
This is even broader and more arbitrary than the invalidated SSA rule. That rule at least excluded beneficiaries who were minors or of retirement age and applied only where the underlying condition that qualified the person for Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income was itself a mental condition.
The VA’s practice, however, has no such limitations. It applies to all beneficiaries receiving benefits for any reason who are assigned a fiduciary. The VA’s position is that an admission or finding that a fiduciary is needed is tantamount to an “adjudication” that a person “lacks the mental capacity” to “manage his own affairs.”
But in most cases, these decisions are summary bureaucratic actions. They very rarely involve a hearing, much less lawyers or judges. So calling them an “adjudication” is inaccurate.
It’s also false to claim that needing help with finances is the sort of “mental defectiveness” Congress intended would prevent a person from being eligible to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights.
Mental health experts warn that there is no connection between financial acumen and a person’s ability safely and responsibly to handle a firearm. That point was made again and again in the context of the debate on the SSA bill.
Thus, the same arguments against the SSA rule apply just as strongly, if not more so, against the VA’s regime.
In other words, the VA’s regime is unconstitutional; inconsistent with the underlying statute; unsupported by science or empirical evidence establishing any link between financial acumen and the ability to safely and responsibly handle firearms; and harmfully stigmatizing. It also serves as a deterrent for vulnerable people who need help and benefits from seeking them.
In addition to all that, it presents the bitter irony of being targeted directly at the very people who bore the cost for the freedoms that all Americans enjoy.
The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act would correct these deficiencies by ensuring that no beneficiary could be reported to NICS as a prohibited “mental defective” unless a judicial authority (such as a judge or magistrate) first determined the person to be a danger to self or others.
That leaves options in the case of a person experiencing an acute episode of dangerous mental illness, while also ensuring that veterans are not arbitrarily denied their rights without due process of law.
Meanwhile, the media is whipping up the usual frenzy about Congress “giving guns” to the “mentally ill.”
Even the self-styed legal experts from The View got in on the act, going so far as to encourage their viewers to contact their congressional representatives to object. Their comments on the bill and its effects, unsurprisingly, were rife with misunderstanding and misinformation.
Due process, as well as Second Amendment rights, are fundamental liberties that all Americans enjoy. They are exactly the sorts of rights for which America’s veterans have sacrificed so much. The fact that the VA would infringe them in this manner is a national disgrace and one that is long past due for correction.
The NRA thanks Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), as well as Chairman Roe, for their leadership in this critical effort.
The U.S. Senate should swiftly follow their lead and send the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act to President Trump’s desk.
Source: NRA / ILA
Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use
Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.
The first such bill was H.R. 358, filed by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and 38 cosponsors in February. Joining him this week was Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who introduced S.618 on Tuesday.
Unlike pending national reciprocity bills, this legislation deals specifically with transporting unloaded firearms, rather than for carry on one’s person en route.
Both bills would reform important provisions of the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) intended to protect the right of law-abiding gun owners to transport firearms throughout our nation. Yet in the years since its enactment, this law has too often been ignored by anti-gun local officials and effectively gutted by the courts. H.R. 358 and S. 618 would rewrite the law to implement the outcome Congress intended when it was passed more than 25 years ago.
FOPA’s safe transport provisions (codified at 18 U.S.C. ﾧ 926A) guarantee the right of a law-abiding person to transport an unloaded firearm between two locations where he or she may legally possess it, regardless of state or local laws along the route of travel that would otherwise prohibit such conduct. Under the current law, the gun must be cased or otherwise not readily accessible.
Most states have never had a problem with this law. However, both before and after enactment of FOPA, gun owners have had serious problems lawfully traveling in two states in particular: New York (especially New York City) and New Jersey. Rather than recognize Congressional intent to protect the rights of Americans traveling with legally owned firearms, these jurisdictions have used overly restrictive state licensing laws to harass and persecute nonresident gun owners.
In 2004, the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) arrested John Torraco at LaGuardia Airport for illegal possession of a firearm. Torraco, an attorney and law professor from Florida, had properly stored his legally owned, unloaded handgun in his checked luggage. However, when he declared the firearm to the counter agent (as required by federal law) he was arrested and charged for possessing the handgun without a New York handgun license.
In 2005, William Winstanley, a New York State resident, was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport when he attempted to check a handgun in his luggage, again in compliance with the requirements of § 926A. Winstanley was not arrested, but his travel was delayed for several days while he proved that he was in compliance with federal law.
In 2005, Greg Revell, a Utah resident, was flying through Newark Liberty International Airport to his final destination in Pennsylvania. However, his flight into New Jersey was late, which caused him to miss his connecting flight. Revell was forced to collect his baggage and spend the night in a Newark hotel. When he attempted to recheck his baggage the following morning, he declared his unloaded handgun to the counter agent. PAPD officers arrested Revell for illegal possession of a handgun and ammunition under New Jersey law. Revell spent three days in jail before he was able to make bail.
Each of these gun owners filed a civil rights suit in federal court to vindicate their rights under FOPA. In each case, however, the courts interpreted the law to deprive travelers who comply with its provisions of any effective remedy after they’ve been arrested or detained by police for violation of state or local law.
Since that time, many other cases have resulted in guilty pleas to reduced charges, civil penalties, seized firearms, and delayed travel in situations where FOPA should have provided protection.
While cases of inappropriate arrest or detention are most common at the New York City airports, they are not limited to those locations. In Albany, NY, detention of gun owners and confiscation of firearms have been reported by persons traveling in full compliance with § 926A. The NRA has been forced to repeatedly warn gun owners that they should avoid using New York or New Jersey airports when traveling with firearms.
To correct this situation, the pending bills would:
Expand the protections afforded travelers to include “staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental” to the trip.
Put the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that a traveler did not meet the requirements of § 926A, rather than allow travelers to be arrested on local charges and forced to raise § 926A before a judge as an “affirmative defense.”
Make clear that transportation of firearms, their magazines, and ammunition is federally protected.
Make clear that violation of the right to transport firearms is judicially enforceable as a federal civil right, with attorney’s fees available to victorious plaintiffs in civil suits, as well as to defendants who prevail in criminal cases after raising a FOPA defense.
The NRA thanks Rep. Griffith and Sen. Hatch for their leadership in this vitally important effort and urges their respective chambers to take up the bills as soon as possible.
A constitutional “right” to arms that can be vetoed at every state, county, or municipal border is no right at all.
Source: NRA / ILA
Patients in Pennsylvania must choose: Medical marijuana or gun ownership
PHILADELPHIA — The town drunk can buy firearms. So can someone who has been involuntarily placed in a mental hospital for a short stay. But anyone who wants to treat Crohn’s disease with medical marijuana is forbidden from owning a gun.
Pennsylvania is preparing to roll out a statewide program early this year that will provide medicinal cannabis products to patients suffering from 17 serious health conditions. But some sick people will have to make a difficult decision: Is taking the medicine worth surrendering what gun-owning advocates see as an enshrined constitutional right?
“It’s hypocritical,” said lawyer Andrew Sacks, the co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee.
“You can be an opioid addict, or buy a bottle of rum, drink it and go to a store and buy one,” Mr. Sacks said. “But a person who is registered as a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, and has a very small dosage of THC, can’t own a gun to protect themselves or hunt.”
A state police spokesman strongly suggested that patients also consider the consequences of holding on to any guns bought before enrolling in the medical marijuana program .
“It’s unlawful to keep possession of firearms obtained prior to registering,” said Ryan Tarkowski, a state police spokesman. “The Pennsylvania State Police is not in the business of offering legal advice, but it might be a good idea to contact an attorney about how best to dispose of their firearms.”
Twenty-nine states have legalized marijuana in some form.
But under federal law, all forms of marijuana remain strictly forbidden. The Drug Enforcement Administration considers it a Schedule 1 drug, on par with heroin and LSD, with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates the sale and ownership of guns and ammunition across the nation. ATF spokeswoman Cherie R. Duvall-Jones said any use of marijuana is a disqualifier.
“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law,” Ms. Duvall-Jones said.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2016 that the federal prohibition does not violate the Second Amendment.
The National Rifle Association has remained silent on the issue. A spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Gun dealers were sent an ATF bulletin in 2016 that left no room for loopholes. A dealer who even suspects that a customer may be using cannabis is obliged to stop a sale, Ms. Duvall-Jones said. Federal regulations bar firearms ownership to anyone who illegally uses a controlled substance or might be addicted to any drug.
Alcohol is not considered a controlled substance, Ms. Duvall-Jones said. “Therefore, a person who is addicted to distilled spirits, wine or malt beverages would not be prohibited” under the law, she said.
A federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled last month that the government could not restrict the gun ownership rights of a man who had been involuntarily placed in a psychiatric hospital.
In Pennsylvania, firearms dealers must conduct a background check on each customer. A registry, administered by the state police, identifies medical marijuana patients.
“If you’re a card holder, you’ll be flagged,” said Mr. Tarkowski, the state police spokesman.
But even before the background check is run, all customers must fill out a Form 4473, a firearms transaction record required by the U.S. Department of Justice.
One yes/no question asks:
Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance? Warning: the use of possession marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.
“It’s game over if you check ‘yes,’ ” said Jim Benoit, owner of Cajun Arms in West Chester, Pa. “I can thank you for coming by, but I’ll have to tell you I can’t sell you this gun.”
Patients also may be required to surrender guns and ammo bought before joining the marijuana program, whether they are using the medicine or not. Police in Honolulu fired off letters last month to patients ordering them to turn in their weapons. The following outcry had the department put the order on hold two days later. No other jurisdiction has made a similar request.
The issue has been a hot-button topic in New England states that have legalized marijuana, said Becky Dansky, legislative counsel of the national Marijuana Policy Project, which opposes prohibitions.
“The compromise most of those states are reaching is ‘no new guns for patients,’ but they’re not tracking down guns and asking them to be surrendered,” Ms. Dansky said.
Source: Sam Wood
Dec 31, 2017
They’re going to need more prisons
By Bob Livingston
Two bills introduced in the House of Representatives are going to, if passed, necessitate the building of more and bigger prisons because they will automatically make criminals out of millions of Americans.
The bills are H.R. 3999 (aka bump stock ban) and H.R. 4052 (aka large capacity magazine ban). Both are kneejerk reactions to the Las Vegas music festival shooting that is purported to have left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.
I warned you last week that more and stronger attempts to steal your guns were coming and explained “Why governments want gun control.” Of course it’s not to “keep you safe,” as politicians always claim. It is to turn you into slaves. Politicians believe that only the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence.
H.R. 3999 was introduced by Florida Republican Carlos Curbelo and he has lined up nine Republican co-sponsors and 10 Democrat co-sponsors.
“For the first time in decades, there is growing bipartisan consensus for sensible gun policy, a polarizing issue that has deeply divided Republicans and Democrats,” Curbelo said. “This common-sense legislation will ban devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law without restricting Second Amendment rights. I’m proud to join Representative Moulton to lead our colleagues in this important first step to address gun violence in our country and show that Congress is capable of working constructively in a bipartisan way to make Americans safer.”
Anytime a politician tells you that legislation is “common-sense” you need to hold onto your butt. You know that what he’s doing is knocking one more liberty brick from the foundation.
The legislation is typically vaguely worded and seeks to ban “the manufacture, possession, or transfer of any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.”
This broad language would criminalize basic parts of the trigger mechanism for every semiautomatic rifle, as the sole purpose of those parts is to “increase the rate of fire” of the rifle. And everyone with a trigger finger would likewise become criminals, as these guns will fire as fast as the finger will work and the more training one has the more rapidly he is able to shoot. And “bump fire” is an achievable technique through practice without the aid of a bump stock, and even such mundane things as rubber bands and belt loops can be employed to increase the rate of fire.
Among the devices that would be banned are those used by competitive shooters like lighter pull triggers, hammer drops and polished bolts.
After initially ceding ground on bump stocks and saying that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should revisit the legality of them, the NRA has backtracked somewhat and opposes this bill – likely because of pressure from its members who see it as capitulation and surrender to the gun grabbers. Gun Owners of America vehemently opposed a bump stock ban by any means, rightfully seeing it as an easy win and unnecessary capitulation to the anti-gun crowd.
H.R. 4052 bans the transfer or possession of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.” These devices are defined as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”
While it grandfathers in large capacity magazines purchased before the bill becomes law, it makes it a criminal offense to transfer that device to anyone, making it impossible for anyone to dispose of them if they wanted to.
Both bills carry penalties of 10 years in prison and fines.
There aren’t enough prisons in the world to hold the people who suddenly become criminals at the stroke of a pen.
Authoritarianism or criminal government can never feel secure from fear as long as millions of people own guns. Likewise, when the people have no arms, they have no security and no hope of security.
Disarmament first comes by words and psychological warfare. Hence the attack on guns whenever people are weakened by mass murder events.
Winner of Pennsylvania elk tag raffle takes 850-pound 8×10 bull
Delbert Somerville was selected from 10,587 tickets sold in the Keystone Elk Country Alliance elk tag raffle drawing Aug. 20, at the Elk Country Visitor Center here.
On Sept. 28, the Bernville man harvested an 8×10 bull that weighed an estimated 850 pounds. The rut was in full swing that morning, and Somerville passed on six before settling on his trophy, which will score over 400 on the Boone and Crockett scale.
“When I shot the bull that afternoon, he went down on his front end and flipped completely head over heels,” Somerville said. “With all that weight on the huge antlers, one brow point was broken. We found the point with no problem.”
The hunt he won from the Keystone Elk Country Alliance – which included guides, taxidermy services and the effort being videoed – was a fabulous adventure, according to Somerville.
“It was unbelievable non-stop bugling – I have never seen anything like this ever in my life,” he said.
“I was just taking it all in and working closely with my guide. I could have harvested any number of bulls, but he said to pass, so I did. Can’t tell you how hard that was!
“We were in the middle of the herd on public Pennsylvania state forest land. It was a fantastic experience.”
The alliance’s elk tag raffle provides a unique opportunity for one hunter to harvest a mature bull elk in Pennsylvania, but everyone who purchased a ticket is a true conservationist and a winner, noted Rawley Cogan, president and CEO of the organization.
“We sincerely thank everyone who purchased a ticket for their support of this unique raffle,” he said. “Pennsylvania’s elk herd and its habitat are the beneficiaries.”
The alliance’s 2017 KECA elk tag raffle generated $195,350 in gross tickets sales. Elk tag raffle proceeds from past years were used to complete the first two phases of an outdoor classroom at the Elk Country Visitor Center, which offers educational programs for thousands of students and guests.
Money from the raffles also fund habitat improvement projects totaling hundreds of acres and a permanent land protection project. The alliance, a nonprofit organization, completed its first permanent land-protection project last year.
It acquired a 9-acre tract adjacent to the Elk Country Visitor Center, which consists of white pine and hemlock with mixed oak and hickory overstory. The property has two small streams that merge on the property and flow into Bennett’s Branch of the Susquehanna River.
The water is clean and runs year-round. No mining or acid-mine drainage has occurred on the property.
Source: Keystone Elk Country Alliance
Get Them Out of Their Chairs, They’ll Learn More
“So, who’s teaching the hunter education class this weekend?” Standing near the counter in a neighborhood tire shop, I wasn’t expecting the question and I didn’t recognize the guy who asked it. But, since I am a hunter education instructor, I knew the fellow probably had a son or daughter who had recently gone through one of the classes I helped teach. I told him I wasn’t aware of any classes being offered. And then he proceeded to tell me something that really made me feel good.
Source: BY Curt Miller
DEP Spotlights Clean Local Water Actions in Educational Exhibit, Activities at Pennsylvania Farm Show
The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) exhibit at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show focuses on steps that farms, towns, industry, and residents can take to help clean up local streams and rivers. The exhibit is in the Main Hall of the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center from January 6 to 13.
“Although Pennsylvania is making some progress in cleaning up the thousands of pollution-impaired rivers and streams in the commonwealth, much work remains to be done,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “All individuals and organizations are part of the solution to help reduce sediment, nutrients, and chemicals in our local waters.”
The exhibit, created by the DEP Environmental Education Center, includes a beanbag toss game for kids and panels presenting simple steps that can help clean up water at home, on the farm, at work, and in communities.
Four clean water success stories are highlighted:
Mark and Beth Steck, who earned a 2017 Clean Water Farm Award for sediment and nutrient reduction measures at their Green Valley Farm in Franklin County;
Mack Trucks Remanufacturing Center, Middletown, Dauphin County, for stormwater pollution reduction on plant grounds;
Lemoyne Borough, Cumberland County, for their numerous rain gardens and other stormwater management measures; and
John and Barbara Schleicher, who use rain barrels at their home in York County.
One panel addresses the special challenge of cleaning up local water in Pennsylvania’s 43 counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The exhibit was created with funding support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Farm Show runs January 6 to 13, starting at 8:00 AM daily. Admission is free and parking is $15.
The following is a list of DEP public activities:
8:00 AM-close, Clean Local Waters in Pennsylvania, DEP Exhibit (Booth 705, near butter sculpture), Main Hall: Interactive educational exhibit with beanbag toss game.
Sunday, January 7
7:00 PM, Bunny Hop, Small/Sale Arena: Secretary McDonnell participates in the Celebrity Rabbit Hopping Contest.
Tuesday, January 9
3:30–4:00 PM, Tips to Be Stormwater Smart, Lancaster Farming/Ag 101 Stage, Expo Hall: Environmental Education Director Bert Myers demonstrates actions anyone can take to reduce or reuse stormwater runoff from their roof, driveway, and street and help clean up nearby streams.
Wednesday, January 10: Public Officials Day
8:30–9:00 AM, Secretary McDonnell Media Availability, DEP Exhibit (Booth 705), Main Hall.
11:00 AM, Secretary McDonnell’s participation in Public Officials Luncheon, Expo Hall.
Friday, January 12: Resource Conservation Day
11:30–noon and 2:30–3:00 PM, Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program, Lancaster Farming/Ag 101 Stage, Expo Hall: TeamAg shows how farmers in Pennsylvania’s 43 counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed can get reimbursed for the cost of developing manure and/or nutrient management plans.
Source: The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)