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New Pennsylvania Gun Control?

It’s been a busy day. The PA legislature has passed two bills. Don’t believe anything the Inquirer tells you! They are about as ignorant as on gun matters as a family of drunken gerbils. As best I can tell, these are:

House Bill 24

House Bill 1392

Now, I don’t have today’s session notes yet, so I don’t know these are the bills for sure, but it’s all I was able to find in the database. Now let’s see what they are about. First, HB24:

§ 6127. Firearm tracing.

(a) Illegal possession.–Upon recovering a firearm from the possession of anyone under 21 years of age who is not permitted by Federal or State law to possess a firearm, a local law enforcement agency shall use the best available information, including a firearms trace where necessary, to determine how and from where the person under 21 years of age gained possession of the firearm.

(b) Tracing.–Local law enforcement shall use the National Tracing Center of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in complying with subsection (a).

Notification.–Local law enforcement agencies shall advise the Pennsylvania State Police of all firearms that are recovered in accordance with this section.

(d) Registry.–The Pennsylvania State Police shall maintain registry of all information reported in accordance with this section.

This is a useless turd of a law, and I don’t like the registration bullshit. But it doesn’t change anything. My firearms are already in a state police registry, thanks to our Supreme Court ignoring the plain meaning of our state’s registration prohibition. I’ve been told we can expect a fix to this legislatively at some point (probably when Fast Eddie is out), which would wipe out this law, in addition to the state police registry that already exists. This law doesn’t really change our gun laws, it wastes resources, sure, but it’s not anything to get upset over.

The next one, HB1382:

Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in theft and related offenses, defining “firearm.”

“Firearm.” Any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.

This does not change the definition of firearm under the UFA, this changes it ONLY under the theft and receiving stolen property statutes. Remember my post on UFA oddities from the other day, in Pennsylvania, when the law mentions firearm, you have to define it, because it means different things in different laws. All this law does is clarify that when the receiving stolen property statues say firearm, they mean any firearm, not the UFA definition. I actually thought this was already the case, but the courts would be required to use the definition that most favors the defendant if the statute does make a clear distinction as to which definition they are using.

I don’t know about you, but if some scumbag breaks into my house, steals my guns and sells them on the streets, I want the law throwing a felony indictment his way. I don’t think this law is a turd at all; I actually support it. The Inky makes it out to be a sweeping definition change in state law. It is not.

Hopefully this will allay some of Liberty Sphere’s concerns. The first bill is useless, changes nothing, and likely will be repealed in a few years when the legislature fixes the registration problem, and the second is actually not a gun control bill, but a criminal control bill.

Also, anyone love how the Tiahrt Amendment is keeping the city from tracing all those guns? You’d almost think the Brady Campaign and the media were lying to us about it preventing the police access to the tracing system.

2 Responses to “New Pennsylvania Gun Control?”

  1. Sebastian,

    Thanks for the clarification. And yes, it does allay at least some of my concerns but certainly not all. I still think the NRA is making unnecessary compromises with those who are definitely against us.

    Be that as it may, it appears that in Pennsylvania at least, the bill doesn’t change much, but I still have to wonder about the NRA’s support of it.

    Martyn
    aka “Suspicious of Deals with Gun Control Advocates”

  2. Sebastian says:

    I understand. I might actually write to our state NRA guy and ask what their plan is about this registration thing, because that’s the part I’m most wary about.

    But I will reserve final judgment on them until I get tomorrow’s legislative report. That should have the updated bills in them. There’s a good chance what I put in here won’t end up being the final version. I would have fewer problems with the registration scheme as long as when a gun is returned to its lawful owner, the registration information is purged from the database.

    As far as why NRA is acquiescing to these people? My guess is the Republicans and rural Democrats didn’t want the gun issue holding up the budget, as the Philadelphia politicians threatened to do. So the Republicans and rural Democrats went to the NRA and told them they needed to throw them a bone, even if the bone didn’t really have much meat on it. When your big supporters come to you and say “We have to give them something” there’s not much you can do, if you want to keep the friends you have.

    This is one of the costs Pennsylvanians are going to pay for electing Ed Rendell and a Democratic house. Surely Pennsylvania gun owners didn’t think 8 years of a dedicated anti-gun politician like Ed Rendell would come without a price? Apparently enough of them did to elect him.

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