A few days ago, we saw the beginning of a controversy brewing in Pennsylvania when it comes to the election – and not just the voter fraud accusations already flying. Rep. Bryan Cutler posted a link to the debate in his area when Lancaster County commissioners considered a ban on firearms in polling places. According to local news, is was either a directive or “suggestion” from the state on how towns can ban guns:
Stehman said she made the recommendation to the commissioners at the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of State.
The good news for the folks in Lancaster County is that a) you have a gun owning lawmaker who is looking into why the Department of State is trying to push an illegal resolution in all of the counties, and b) the commissioners recognized that the ban would be a legal and logistical nightmare and opted to follow the law.
But it’s a fair question to ask why someone at the Department of State would ask all 67 counties to break state law and pass these bans on possession?
[The directive/"suggestion" from the Department of State] then lists several sections of the Pennsylvania Elections Code that could be cited to justify such resolutions.
But [Commissioner Craig] Lehman said state and federal law are pretty clear that counties can’t legislate gun possession.
“I would hope the Department of State would have provided the legal justification for its direction, but it clearly doesn’t address the Uniform Firearms Act at all,” he said.
Once contacted by Rep. Cutler, the Department of State appears to have discovered the Uniform Firearms Act and fully agreed that local bans on lawful carry in polling places is completely illegal – even though they tried to push all the counties to pass those illegal bans.
NRA isn’t taking any chances and warned its members here to contact their local county offices to demand they say no to gun bans. I’d still like to know who exactly was responsible for the directive/”suggestion” because it seems like a very targeted group to keep away from the polls in a year that will no likely help the currently administration & House leaders.
UPDATE: Good news via Rep. Cutler:
Victory in the gun in polling places debate. Dept of State sent a clarifying memo verifying that counties are preempted from regulating guns. … However, note if polling places are in a area that is already regulated such as a courthouse or school that regulation must be followed.
I’m still not happy that the Department of State felt it could send an instruction packet on how to ban guns to the counties. I’d call for a little accountability since they spent serious time (looking through all of the state laws – except the one that actually matters) and some money on this fiasco. But, at least it is resolved. I vote at a school, but I think I’ll be standing at the polls at a different location, so this does impact my right to carry. Especially since Sebastian will be in another area working for a different candidate.
15 Responses to “Voting While Armed”
- SayUncle » Voting while armed - [...] One right requires ID and a background check. And some want to ban it while doing the other. [...]