Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
HB 1243 (Preemption Law Changes) Passes House NOW on to Senate - HELP needed

On Oct 6th HB 1243, just passed its third consideration in the House by a vote of 143-54. There are only a few days left to get this through the Senate and we're going to need YOUR help! CLICK HERE


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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:27 PM
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Default 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lo...rol_bills.html


Quote:
Three gun-control bills now in the Pennsylvania legislature would close loopholes surrounding the illegal purchase, sale, and possession of firearms.

They were described yesterday at a news conference at Philadelphia Police Headquarters by State Sen. Larry Farnese (D., Phila.), who introduced the legislation in February. He was joined by District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross, State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D., Phila.-Montgomery), and State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson (D., Phila.).

The first bill would make it illegal for anyone charged with a felony, but not yet convicted, to buy, transfer, sell, or possess a firearm.

The second would prohibit anyone convicted of a felony drug offense as a juvenile from buying or owning a gun as an adult.

The third bill would require a mandatory one-year sentence for carrying a gun without a license. It was first introduced in 2007, but failed to move out of committee.

Farnese's announcement came less than a year after the National Rifle Association took City Council members to court for their attempt at gun-control legislation. Farnese and his supporters say they hope for the NRA's cooperation on the state level.

The proposed legislation "is going after illegal guns," Farnese said. "We are not going to be disturbing the rights of legal gun owners."

Abraham said she believed that only the third bill, requiring mandatory sentencing, would prove problematic with advocates of gun-owners' rights. Representatives of the District Attorney's Gun Violence Task Force worked with Farnese to develop the legislation.

At the news conference, 12 illegal firearms seized during police raids during the last year lay on a table behind the speakers. Ross held up one - a three-foot-long SKS semiautomatic rifle - to illustrate the need for tighter rules.

"There is no reason for anybody in the world to be carrying that around," he said.

Still, all of the politicians present acknowledged the difficulty they were likely to face in getting support from legislators outside Philadelphia.

Farnese said he took hope from the fact that two of the bills' co-sponsors were Democrats from other regions: Sen. Michael O'Pake of Reading and Sen. Wayne Fontana of Pittsburgh. The bills are also co-sponsored by Washington and Sen. Vincent Hughes, who also represents part of Philadelphia.
I would like to know what you all think about this.

Last edited by Geronimo509; April 16th, 2009 at 07:58 AM. Reason: I interpreted these incorrectly
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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geronimo509 View Post
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lo...rol_bills.html



I hope this isn't old news, but this doesn't sound so bad.

1st, once you get charged with a felony, you can't buy a gun while your out on bail. If you are found not guilty or anything along those lines, that should go away and you should have your rights back (thats how I took it, I could be wrong)
So I guess that you beleive that if your are charged with a crime that you are guilty until proven innocent?

I was under the impression that it was supposed to be the other way around.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geronimo509 View Post
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lo...rol_bills.html




1st, once you get charged with a felony, you can't buy a gun while your out on bail. If you are found not guilty or anything along those lines, that should go away and you should have your rights back (thats how I took it, I could be wrong)
How about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? You give your liberty away for security too easily.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

Also, the way that the law is worded not only would you be unable to purchase any firearms but you would also have to give up ALL of the guns you own until the charges are dropped or you are acquitted, which could take months or even years.

In regards to the other proposed legislation, by federal law you are already prohibited from buying or possessing firearms if convicted of a felony drug offense as a minor, so this "new" state law would just be redundant.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

Actually, I fail to see how these aren't a big deal.

Now, I'm going off of the descriptions provided in the OP...

1) One of the wonderful founding principles of our great country is presumption of innocence. That is, the government is to assume that you are innocent until proven guilty of a crime by a jury of your peers. Until you are convicted of a crime, you are innocent. Any sort of punitive measure that happens before a conviction is a grave deprivation of our fundamental rights.

Now, to bring it home, let's say that you have to shoot someone in self-defense, and he dies on the spot. Let's say he's a gang member. In some jurisdictions, you may be charged with some form of homicide until your case goes to trial and you are proven innocent. Would you like to be required to be unarmed when the gang member's thug buddies come looking for you?



2) Drug offenses should not be disqualifying in the first place. Unless we're going to take the guns away from anyone who's ever gotten drunk, or who has ever popped an extra vicodin, I don't think we're in a place to continue the ridiculous practice of oppressing the right to effective self-defense for those who have smoked an herb unapproved by the nanny-state government. Committing a non-violent, or as I prefer to call it, a victimless crime says nothing about one's suitability to buy or own a gun. Sure, ban the wife beaters and murderers from owning guns. But non-violent child criminals? Give it a break. Not to mention that it reeks of an ex-post-facto-but-not-really law, like the Megan's Law provisions that add significant penalties after the fact.

Today it's drugs. What non-violent offense will they do this with next time? Underage drinking? Speeding? Parking ticket?



3) Two problems. First is that minimum sentences are always a poor idea, as they disrupt the checks and balances in government by eliminating some of the discretionary power of the judicial branch. Second is that the lack of discretion requires that the penalty be assessed regardless of circumstances. This would be requiring the same one year in prison for the gang banger who has a violent criminal past that prohibits him from getting a LTCF, as well as for the father who stops at McDonald's to get his kids a snack for the ride home from the range.



The point is that we need fewer gun laws, not more. No new gun law is reasonable or acceptable, because they all can come around to bite peaceable gun owners in the ass.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87GTSts View Post
So I guess that you beleive that if your are charged with a crime that you are guilty until proven innocent?

I was under the impression that it was supposed to be the other way around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelemite View Post
How about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? You give your liberty away for security too easily.
It seems like they want YOU to prove you didn't do anything wrong. Instead of them having to prove you DID do something illegal. This whole system is broken and needs a thorough tuneup.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

How, exactly does this address the issue of illegal gun sales? If what they describe is legal then what they are proposing is making them illegal.

More laws,more restrictions and more control. Never a good thing.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

I don't have any heartache with the not being allowed to have gun while the charges are pending. As long as the government doesn't confiscate them and you can transfer them to a friend for safe keeping.

The one that bothers me is the mandatory year for carrying without a permit.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

I couldn't be more strongly opposed to anything than I am to mandating minimum sentences for the victimless crime of carrying a firearm without a license. That's absolutely insane. You can mug an old lady and not go to jail, why should the prisons be filled with scared soccer moms and convenience store clerks who were found with guns under the seats of their own cars? Non-prohibited people who are found to be in unlawful possession of guns in vehicles or on their persons, in the absence of any other criminal intent, should be at worst punished with a summary offense, not the current M1 or felony.

You have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The courts have mostly ignored that right, as they pretend to discover far less explicit "rights" like gay marriage and abortion and a paid attorney. The mindset that bearing arms is evil and that we only do so at the forbearance of our rulers is simply wrong, and indicative of a mental illness. Good people are entitled to protect themselves. The job of the government is to make that easier, not harder. The government is paid to catch and punish the bad people so that we don't have to use lethal force to protect ourselves; does anyone seriously argue that our streets are safe 24/7, and we no longer need to handle our own defense?

I have no problem with harsh sentences for people who misuse guns. It's the job of the DA and the judges and jurors to send proven predators away, NOT to punish good people who try to fight back but miss one paragraph out of the thick Crimes Code book. Find me one person who thinks that having a gun purely for self-defense is something so evil that it deserves the destruction of someone's family, job, and psyche via a year incarcerated among thugs and pimps and drug addicts and arsonists.

These bills always come out of Philadelphia, because none of the crooks in Philly government are willing to tell the voters that the problem is the voters and their sons and cousins and baby-daddies. As I mentioned once before, I witnessed DA Lynn Abraham tell a group of lawyers that the adjacent suburbs don't have the rampant crime of the city, that they all drank the same water, spoke the same language, and "IT ISN'T THE PEOPLE", so she was mystified why Philadelphia residents committed crimes at 2 to 5 times the rate of people living 10 miles away.

Get a clue, Lynn. It IS the people. Focus on the criminals, provide a real deterrent to crime, and an incentive to cooperate with the police. Give some real hope to the working families of the city, hold the lawless barbarians accountable. Disarmed thugs still commit crimes, but disarmed good people die.

Last edited by GunLawyer001; April 16th, 2009 at 12:39 AM.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: 3 new PA gun laws, MAYBE

Geronimo, others on this thread have put it more eloquently than I have, so I'll just say...These proposed laws suck big donkey dicks

That outta the way...this shit was all over the Philly news last night and today-- and not a dissenting opinion broadcast.
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