Back on the Offensive

It feels good to be back on the offensive in Pennsylvania, with HB2011 moving forward to a vote in the Pennsylvania House. Why does it feel good? Because we get to hear the lamentations of the media, who are absolutely opposed to putting any kind of teeth in the state’s preemption law.

Say goodbye to prospects for enactment of any new lost-and-stolen reporting rules, and say hello to court fights for the 30 towns that already have them on the books.

Awesome. Those towns had no legal authority under state law to pass those ordinances in the first place. We told them that, and they didn’t listen. Those towns can easily avoid expensive suits by repealing the illegal ordinance they never had any business passing in the first place. When cities and towns violate state law, we shouldn’t have to wait to be charged under it in order to challenge it. Its mere existence should give us standing.

7 thoughts on “Back on the Offensive”

  1. I don’t see what they’re so worried about. They can still try for a lost and stolen provision in STATE law. However unlikely it might be to become law statewide at the moment, they have only to wait until Corbett is out and maybe one election cycle after that until PA becomes a solidly blue state, at which point they can probably have every “reasonable” gun law they ever wished for.

    1. I’m not sure it exactly works like that. VT is “solidly blue” on practically every level and they have constitutional carry.

      Actually, the more I think of it, I can’t come up with any examples of states that are “turning blue” who are experiencing a dramatic increase in gun control along with it. The only states that have done so (NY, NY, CA, MD) have been blue for quite some time on both a national and statewide level.

      1. Colorado.

        That was a case where they got both legislative houses and the executive mansion and Bloomberg and Biden gave enough money and sweet whispers to get them across.

        Though as a political lesson, Colorado saw those historical recalls abotu the gun issue. And not about the rest of the Dem’s wishlist in Colorado.

  2. “When cities and towns violate state law, we shouldn’t have to wait to be charged under it in order to challenge it. Its mere existence should give us standing.”

    That’s one I’ve always been befuddled about, too. Why does someone need to be charged before it can be challenged? If the state/local police opt not to pursue violations and charge offenders under the law, that doesn’t change the fact that the law still exists – i.e. the action is still illegal – or that the decision to not charge or enforce could change at any time, without warning.

    The part of my mind that wears a tin-foil hat says the non-enforcement is part of the game; the powers-that-be will wait until there’s a critical mass of “offenders,” and then round them up all at once. Again, this could happen at any time. Like, say, when a department’s arrest/conviction numbers are dropping and they need to go after the low-hanging fruit.

    Bottom line is, if it’s unconstitutional, it shouldn’t be law (I know, “null and void,” but it should never have been enacted in the first place). Constitutional or not, if they’re not going to enforce it, it shouldn’t be law. There is a metric crap-ton of ordinances that could have real criminal consequences for real people, that should have never been made law. But neither side – Democrats NOR Republicans – are pushing for repeal.

    1. You’d think that mere “desire to break Law X” should be standing enough to challenge a given law, whether or not the law is going to be enforced. When Polygamy was outlawed by the Federal Government, the Utah Latter-day Saints chose a person for a test case: they had him marry a second wife, get arrested for it, and have the case wind its way through to the Supreme Court…which held that the law was Constitutional. This guy then spent time in prison for breaking that law.

      I can’t help but wonder: couldn’t the President have pardoned this person? And why should individuals have to risk jail time just test whether or not a law is Unconstitutional? And why isn’t the fact that you’re afraid that a given government action is going to affect you activities, reason enough to have standing?

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