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Currently Browsing: Pennsylvania

Cleaning Up Illegal LTCF Requirements

In Pennsylvania, there have traditionally been a lot of extralegal requirements for Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCF) implemented by county Sheriffs, with the City of Philadelphia being the most notorious of the offender. The rest of the ring counties were often pretty non compliant as well. Bucks County had a number of extralegal requirements. I want to say there was a psychological evaluation (or something pretty draconian like that) imposed at one point (this is before I lived here), until a local activist challenged the requirement. Up until pretty recently, the county was overcharging for LTCFs. Bucks County is now following the law. Delaware County used to illegally call references, including employers, until it was pointed out to them that disclosing information about an LTCF application crime, and my understanding is that they no longer do this. Montgomery County has continued with extralegal requirement to get local police sign-off, but now it seems that may be at an end too.

We’re slowly getting there.

Harrisburg & The Great American Outdoor Show’s Showdown

Merriam-Webster defines extortion as “the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property; especially: the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice.”

The mayor of Harrisburg who has made clear that he hates NRA and its members went to the press whining that NRA isn’t engaging in pay-for-play for hosting the Great American Outdoor Show in his town.

As part of the deal with the county to host the show, NRA did agree to support regional grants in accordance with the typical rules of the NRA Foundation’s policies and by-laws. Just like your local Friends of NRA banquet gives at least 50% of the money to regional grant requests, the Great American Outdoor Show program is following the same model.

Harrisburg’s mayor is fuming that NRA is holding true to the agreement and his city isn’t the automatic, pre-determined grant winner every year. Apparently, NRA did make the offer to fund a smaller grant this year, but the Mayor threw a hissy fit when he learned they wouldn’t agree to make that a set fund for him annually in direct violation of the NRA Foundation’s by-laws. So, he seems to have rejected their grant offer.

The city officials are fuming since they thought the cash would pad their budgets each year, and now they learn that other worthy area entities in need will benefit. This will not stand for Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Police Chief Thomas Carter who believed they would be the exclusive beneficiaries of the grant request process. As it is, NRA already pays somewhere around $200,000 in amusement taxes to the city and school district. Plus, the city gets the tax revenue from the millions brought in by vendors, hotels, eateries, and other sales associated with the event. But that’s not good enough.

So, when the Mayor and Police Chief were angered to learn that the rules and by-laws wouldn’t be bent to hand the cash to them, they demanded a bigger payoff in other forms. They wanted to increase the rate that NRA would have to pay for off-duty police officers to assist with the event. Since the rate was apparently agreed to be on the low side, NRA offered to pay more, working up to a 33% increase over the next three years. This was not acceptable to the City, and the mayor demanded an immediate 67% increase. Since the rate the Mayor wanted apparently wasn’t remotely market rate compared to even larger cities, NRA has now turned to the county and departments from other cities who will likely gladly take the money. Harrisburg now loses $10,000 in fees associated with that deal.

However, that wouldn’t stop officers from taking vacation time to work the NRA show, something that has apparently been done with the support of the department for nearly 30 years. Since Harrisburg has now declared war on the Great American Outdoor Show, the Police Chief is banning his officers from taking vacation during that period so they can’t earn extra money from the huge event. He’s also going to mandate overtime to more patrolling to try and keep them away.

While the behavior may not meet a legal criminal definition of extortion, it sure does seem to me like the quotes in the article by the mayor and police chief fit the spirit of the dictionary definition of the term.

Pennsylvania Elections: Where’s the T?

The Dems swept the statewide races, which isn’t too surprising given they seemed to be the only people spending money. They managed to drive turnout in Philadelphia, while turnout in the “T” part of Pennsylvania was very light. Are they still sore about the whole Penn State thing? Has the Pennsylvania GOP started sucking worse than usual? For whatever the PAGOP is worth (which probably isn’t much), this is a problem they should be very interested in diagnosing, because without very strong turnout from that section of the state, there aren’t enough votes to overcome Philadelphia and Pittsburg, and the unions spent big on this race. It will likely be a good investment for them, because they can now have a very big say in the 2020 redistricting. The Republicans should have spent more in this election, and if they didn’t have the money to spend they should start asking themselves how they can manage to suck so bad that no one wants to give them money. But of course they never ask that. It’s business as usual. Strategy? What’s that?

The only thing you have to hope for is that union backed Dem justices aren’t going to toe the Dem line on gun control, for fear of being eaten alive by their members.

The GOP managed to increase their majority in the Senate by one vote by winning the special election. Generally speaking the GOP did pretty well in the Philadelphia suburbs in County elections.

Pennsylvanians: Don’t Forget Tomorrow’s Elections

NRA has endorsed candidates in the off-year elections tomorrow, November 3rd. It is very important for every gun voter to show up this year. PVF’s web site looks like it’s finally correct, and has all the endorsed candidates. FOAC also has their slate of candidates up, with some further local races you might want to pay attention to. We elect judges in Pennsylvania, and that’s mostly what this election is about. The Supreme Court plays a big role in drawing of districts, and realize that if the Dems manage to take full control of this state in their current “wild-eyed leftist and loving them some gun control” incarnation, your gun rights will be finished. This is no exaggeration. The important statewide candidates:

Supreme Court

  • Anne Covey (R)
  • Michael George (R)
  • Judith Olson (R)

Superior Court

  • Emil Giordano (R)

Commonwealth Court

  • Paul Lalley (R)

Also, if you live in State Senate District 37, which comprises parts of Allegheny and Washington counties, you have a special election tomorrow where Guy Reschenthaler (R) is the NRA and FOAC endorsed candidate.

Reminder for Pennsylvanians on Election

We have critical judicial races coming up next Tuesday, November 3rd. NRA has issued a few endorsements, which I will relay to you. You may have already seen them if you’re on their list:

Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day in Pennsylvania.  Your NRA-PVF (www.NRAPVF.org) has endorsed Judge Emil Giordano for Superior Court and Paul Lalley for Commonwealth Court.

Over recent years, many of your Second Amendment rights have been ultimately decided by the courts, such as the Ortiz v. Commonwealth PA Supreme Court case that struck down local firearms bans in the Commonwealth and the historic District of Columbia v. Heller United States Supreme Court case that overturned the ban on handguns for self-defense in the home in Washington D.C.

It is critical to elect judges who interpret our Constitution the way that our Founding Fathers intended at all levels.  On Tuesday, November 3, remember to vote for NRA-PVF endorsed candidates, Judge Emil Giordano and Paul Lalley. 

For a complete list of NRA-PVF endorsements, click here.

Be sure to turn out. This is an off year, so the gun vote could make quite a difference.

Not speaking about gun races specifically, but we also have Supreme Court elections, and I’d keep that in mind too. The Supreme Court has a lot of say in the drawing of districts, so it would not be, in my opinion, a good thing to have that in Democratic hands next census.

Kathleen Kane Now Ineligible for Office?

It seems like there’s now a question over whether Attorney General Kathleen Kane is, as of today, now ineligible to hold the statewide office. Why? Because the state Supreme Court just suspended her law license.

Yes, the woman who Mike Bloomberg spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect, can’t even represent one of Mike’s Illegal Mayor allies who held a man hostage with a gun.

Oh yeah, and just because I try to remind the voters in the central part of the state who voted their football allegiances over gun rights every time that Kathleen Kane is in trouble – elections have consequences.

This Kathleen Kane Drama Couldn’t Get Any Weirder

Apparently Kathleen Kane has an evil twin, who is in some legal trouble of her own:

Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s twin borrowed $200,000 from an FBI agent who was living with her and then kicked him out the door, the agent says in a civil lawsuit filed in Lackawanna County.

Kane’s twin is being sued because apparently that was the guy’s life savings, and he’d like it back. Classy. Meanwhile, apparently Kathleen Kane has used her evil twin to throw off the press. Maybe her next defense will be that it was her evil twin all along!

Surreal Headline of the Day

You can bet the editors were just itching to run this one: “Lawyer Invokes Porn as Pennsylvania AG Is Ordered to Trial.” I wish I could say Bloomberg must be cringing about the 600,000 dollars he donated to her campaign, but the fact is he already got what he wanted out of her, and Kane’s reciprocity take backs are unlikely to be overturned by any future successor, at least until we can have an election. What’s unbelievable to me is that she refuses to resign. Even Governor Wolf is calling on her to resign.

For those of you who haven’t been following, Kathy Kane’s defense has essentially been this whole indictment thing is just a “stealth political weapon” to get back at her for exposing various high-ranking state employees sharing tasteless jokes and porn via state e-mail, including former Democratic Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.

Kathy Kane’s Uppance Has Come

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been indicted this morning by the Montgomery County District Attorney for leaking grand jury information, and then attempting to cover it up. This woman has been slimy from the minute Bloomberg helped buy her office. Remember, she did not run on gun control; she exploited the Penn State scandal, and people’s anger with Corbett over that scandal, to sail into office. The Montgomery County DA Risa Vetri Ferman, is a Republican, so I would expect at least some accusations of a partisan witch hunt to be tossed around, but probably not much. She’s pooped in a lot of other people’s pools, and even many Democrats are sick of her. No doubt Seth Williams is smiling coyly today.

Now the question is whether she will resign. I sincerely hope so. I doubt that will do much to help our reciprocity agreements, since Kane’s replacement was picked by her, but it’s time to be over this controversy. Kane was considered a rising star in Pennsylvania Democratic Politics. Now she’s ruined. She’ll be lucky if Orange doesn’t end up becoming the New Black for her.

Act 192 Overturned by Commonwealth Court

While the news today is going to be all King v. Burwell, I’m sorry to report some more bad news on the gun front. Act 192 has had a short but glorious run, having briefly given teeth to the preemption law passed in 1974. But now Commonwealth Court has ruled that the law violates Pennsylvania’s “single subject” requirement for bills. No word yet on appeal. A few things should be noted.

  • Preemption is still the law in Pennsylvania, just as it has been for 41 years. If you’re busted under a local gun control ordinance, those ordinances are still unlawful. You can challenge them and win. The difference now is it will probably take being charged to have standing to win.
  • The law did a lot of legwork in convincing many local communities to repeal their illegal ordinances. This erased a lot of effort the other side put into passing them. I doubt very many of those communities will re-pass their repealed ordinances. We have to keep an eye out though.
  • Stu Greenleaf bears a significant part of the responsibility for having to attach Act 192 to a metal theft bill at the last minute. He controls the Senate Judiciary Committee these types of bills have to clear through before hitting the floor. The GOP has a 30-20 majority in the Senate. To be honest, I’m thinking about donating money to Greenleafs Dem opponent, even if his opponent is a nut, just to get Greenleaf out of the Senate and to put the Judiciary Committee into more reliable hands.

The real loss here is that the cities that fought may now get their lawsuits dismissed. As long as Tom Wolf is Governor, the only possibility we have for getting this passed again is a veto override, and last time we didn’t have quite enough to accomplish that. [UPDATE: A reader corrects me, and it did pass with a veto-proof margin last time.] Also note that Greenleaf still controls Judiciary, so there’s that issue too. It will continue to be difficult to get pro-gun legislation advanced so long as he is controlling that key committee.

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