Currently Browsing: Pennsylvania
May 16, 2013
We all knew this, but apparently it’s still a bit of a surprise to the media. The Chester County Sheriff’s Department managed to raise around $20,000 raffling off an AR-15 and a bolt-action rifle.
This particular raffle drew the ire of the anti-gun crowd even after the Sheriff’s Department made very clear in the media that winners would undergo background checks. It really just goes to show that they aren’t about legal gun ownership at all.
May 15, 2013
Yesterday was the annual Congressional Shoot-Out by members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. I haven’t seen an official report yet, but word of somewhere around 3 dozen members of Congress took time out to hit the gun range.
Interestingly, not a single member of Pennsylvania’s delegation mentioned anything about attending on Twitter or Facebook. This is a shame because Pennsylvania native Olympic gold medalist Jamie Gray attended, and members of Congress from other states bragged about getting a photo with her.
It’s such a disappointment to see so little support outside of the House chamber for our sports. We’re not even talking a politically contentious side of the issue. With multiple Olympians in attendance, including a Pennsylvania gold medal winner, there are ways to make this event a completely positive photo opportunity that gets a few points with gun owners while creating no media headaches.
However, I’m tempted to give Rep. Glenn Thompson a pass since, during my search this morning to confirm the lack of Facebook posts about attending, I did stumble across an announcement for a trap shoot fundraiser on his campaign page.
UPDATE: Well, good news for some Pennsylvania gun owners. According to a comment, Rep. Glenn Thompson was actually in attendance. It just hasn’t been promoted by his office as of today.
UPDATE II: A formal report is now available:
Current CSC Co-Chair and team captain Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) was joined by his co-captain, CSC Vice-Chair Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) as they accepted the trophy on behalf of team Republican, who edged out the Democrats by a score of 242 to 201 to take the Member Trophy for a second consecutive year. Team Democrat was lead by current CSC Co-Chair, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Vice-Chair, Representative Tim Walz (D-MN). …
In the individual category, Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC) was named the overall Top Gun Member of Congress. The Top Gun from team Democrat was Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) and the Top Gun from team Republican was Representative John Kline (R-MN). The Top Skeet shooter was Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI); Representative Steve Southerland (R-FL) won the Top Trap competition and Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) won Top Sporting Clays.
May 10, 2013
Here in Pennsylvania, our governor is just terrible. I mean terrible. His administration directed publicly funded colleges to review their rules and regulations and–gasp–make sure they are all constitutional! Oh, the horror of making sure that government agencies/departments/institutions aren’t violating the state constitution!
The directive that prompted Kutztown University to allow people to carry guns on campus came from Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration.
Corbett’s office of General Counsel directed all 14 state-owned universities to review their policies restricting guns on campus to determine whether the policies would withstand constitutional muster, said Kutztown University spokesman Matt Santos.
If I see an attack ad on this issue next year, I’m going to probably hit my head against a desk. I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, you should support a directive to make sure that the government isn’t violating rights. If anything, from a liberal perspective, it makes it less likely that these institutions will be sued.
May 10, 2013
This is a great example of why states need preemption laws. Morrisville, PA has an ordinance that bans possession of firearms in their public parks unless a distinct permit has been issued.
The activities listed below shall not be permitted in any park or playground unless a permit has been secured for such activity from the Borough Council, or its agent, the Borough Manager. No permit shall be issued unless an application therefor shall have been made at least 24 hours before the time of the activity. In the case of seasonal activities, a permit may be issued for the entire season.
(a) Groups or parties in excess of 12 persons.
(b) Placements of placards, advertisements or public notices.
(c) Fires, other than in a fireplace or other equipment provided for cooking purposes, or for a bonfire or campfire as part of an authorized event.
(d) Firearms or the discharge of firearms or other weapons.
(e) Soliciting of alms or subscriptions.
(f) Selling or exposing for sale any articles.
The language that “firearms” “shall not be permitted” “unless a permit has been secured for such activity from the Borough Council, or its agent, the Borough Manager” that must be submitted “at least 24 hours before the time of the activity” seems to make it pretty clear that they issue their own permits to possess firearms in parks at least 24 hours in advance of your planned time to be in the park. I wanted to know more about this little gem of an ordinance.
In trying to find out more about that permit, I called the borough, found myself transferred to three different people in Borough Hall in my first call, put on hold for nearly 10 minutes, and still couldn’t tell you anything about the process. I was then told to contact the Police Department for the permit information, including cost, but the Police Department said that any and all permitting in regards to parks happens through Borough Hall and sent me back to the third woman with whom I spoke. She eventually transfered me to a gentleman who said that the Borough doesn’t actually issue permits, but they require that state licenses to carry in order to possess firearms in any way in public parks. I very specifically asked if that applied to open carry as well, and he said that all carry in parks required the state license to carry. (This is illegal for them to demand.)
What’s interesting is that this borough has already been warned off of violating Pennsylvania’s preemption law in a letter sent by firearms attorney Joshua Prince just four days ago. It would appear that instead of requiring you to notify them at least 24 hours in advance of any trips to the park and securing a permit at an unknown price with, what I was told, an application that apparently never existed, they are continuing to violate state law by demanding licenses to carry concealed for any possession at all – concealed or not.
This why we need preemption with some teeth. A good start is Sen. Rich Alloway’s SB 876. It does at least makes local governments pay for the cost of challenging their abuses of power. It would certainly improve the situation in Morrisville since, in all likelihood, the problem ordinance never would have been passed in the first place. Even if it was on the books, the borough itself would be on the financial hook for their illegal ordinance and certainly wouldn’t feel like it is acceptable for their leaders to give out illegal advice without consequence.
May 10, 2013
There’s a fine line between being seen or heard and shoving your politics so much in someone’s face that they get utterly turned off and it works against you. Make your voice heard doesn’t mean piss off everyone around you. That doesn’t help a cause.
So imagine my surprise that the local media has actually been reporting honestly that it was an anti-gun group that decided to go shove their politics in people’s faces at a bunch of little league games. To add to the mix, the very anti-gun media are even editorializing against the decision by the anti-gun groups to disrupt the atmosphere of the games and not blaming gun owners. (Though they admit they aren’t a fan of individuals who plan to open carry in opposition, they don’t lay the blame at their feet.)
This editorial doesn’t just condemn a rinky-dink anti-gun group. The speakers at the event they say should have been canceled are a former governor and a current state lawmaker. Good for the media for calling out the appropriate party for their desire to get up in everyone’s faces where it is rather inappropriate.
May 6, 2013
We have not had an arrest of the individual mayor, but I would classify this news as being under the responsibility of Mayor Linda Thompson, a MAIG mayor.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the City of Harrisburg, Pa., with securities fraud for its misleading public statements when its financial condition was deteriorating and financial information available to municipal bond investors was either incomplete or outdated.
An SEC investigation found that the misleading statements were made in the city’s budget report, annual and mid-year financial statements, and a State of the City address. This marks the first time that the SEC has charged a municipality for misleading statements made outside of its securities disclosure documents.
Apr 26, 2013
This is why the gun control debate isn’t going away in Pennsylvania.
It’s kind of funny that we’re not currently facing any serious threats at the state level, yet Pennsylvania seems to be right on an edge of voting for major gun control supporters.
It doesn’t make me feel any better that some are speculating a MAIG mayor who raised tons of cash for a re-election effort that was abruptly cancelled may turn that into a super PAC fund.
Apr 23, 2013
Thanks to Twitter follower David:
Definitely bigger than previous years, but not overwhelming. I’ve seen the crowd at that rally as large in previous years. A big reason for that, I think, is that PA currently isn’t under threat, given that the GOP controls all three branches of the PA state government, and statements by House leadership and the Governor made it clear early on there wasn’t going to be any of that crap here we’ve seen in neighboring states. Not having to deal with a state fight in the middle of a federal right was hugely beneficial, and we owe Governor Corbett and House leadership a debt of gratitude for holding the line and allowing us to focus federally.
It looks like the big legislation in Pennsylvania now will be preemption enhancements, to actually give it some teeth. It’ll be starting in the Senate, having been introduced by Senator Richard Alloway. While I think preemption enhancement is important, I’d also like to see the state come to a deal on the “Florida Loophole” issue by removing the remaining discretion from LTC issuing authorities, including Philadelphia, granting universal reciprocity to out-of-state licenses, and clarifying that the Attorney General may not alter, modify, or rescind reciprocity agreements except at the behest of the reciprocal state. I’d be willing to trade that for a requirement that PA residents need a PA LTC in order to lawfully carry concealed, rather than a foreign license or permit.
Another, and better alternative to liberalizing the LTC regime, would be to push constitutional carry. But despite the shout out by Rep. Saccone for his bill at the rally today, I’m not going to hold my breath that the votes will be there for quite some time. At least we’ve gotten to the point where we’re getting a bill introduced. That, at the least, means there’s enough interest in it among the gun rights community that we’ve become a constituency to be pleased, and that’s a start. But in the mean time we have a city that does not fairly issue and Attorney General who thinks dinkering with longstanding reciprocity agreements is a fun pastime.
Apr 23, 2013
Not the Biden you’re thinking of. Fresh off a recent legislative victory on banning private transfers in Delaware, Beau Biden wants some more gun control:
The DOJ could then ask a judge to prohibit the person from owning or possessing a gun. The judge also could order the seizure of any guns that the person owns. In the case of a troubled child, authorities could seize any guns owned by a parent or guardian with whom the child is living.
It needs to be adversarial. If my rights are going to be removed, I ought to be able to contest that. If it’s just a judge issuing orders based on the word of government officials, that does not amount to due process in my book, and ought to be unconstitutional.
Also, we have a long tradition in this country of eschewing corruption of blood. It’s interesting that the left, newly emboldened after the late election victory, is slowly trying to do away with limits on governmental power that have served civilized society for hundreds of years. Taking my guns away because my kid is troubled?
With the exception of being a may-issue, but mostly does issue state, Delaware’s gun laws haven’t been too bad for a state that’s been pretty deep blue for a while now. It’s a shame to see that changing so quickly, but it was probably inevitable. The Democrats were afraid to be seen as the Party of Gun Control for the better part of two decades, and so in many of these states there has been an uneasy stalemate. But with Obama declaring the Democrats the Party of Gun Control again, and the Democrats believing the Republicans are finished in states like Delaware, the stalemate is over, and now they are doing to us what they can. Part of this is demographic, especially in states like Delaware. But part of it is the utter failure of the Republican Party in the Northeast, which is now spreading into the Mid-Atlantic states as well.
If gun owners don’t start thinking of ways to turn around some of these states, I expect the divide between the Two Americas I have spoken about here will continue to deepen, with blue states not having gun rights to speak of, and the rest of the country continuing to liberalize their gun control laws. What truly worries me is where Pennsylvania will fall on that divide.
Apr 23, 2013
Today is the annual 2nd Amendment Rally. I had actually planned to go this year, even up until a few days ago, because I thought it would be important to make this a big year. But other circumstances have intervened, and to tell the truth, I’m a bit burnt out on gun rights events, and didn’t relish the idea of driving to Harrisburg at 6 in the morning only to have to come back in the afternoon and work until I can’t stay awake anymore. If anyone’s there who can get a good crowd shot, let me know and I’ll post it.