Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default My letter and responses it generated

    Hi all!
    This is the letter I recently wrote to the Philadelphia Inquirer. It is followed by two emailed responses from folks who saw the letter to the editor in today's edition. Furthermore, below readers' responses I've pasted my reponse to their responses. Whew! Lot of responses in there. Enjoy!
    J.


    Penalty for reporting gun theft

    Re: “Get guns off the street,” Saturday:
    While the message of encouraging law-abiding gun owners to report lost and stolen firearms is commendable, there’s more at play than appears on the surface.
    Internet forums abound with stories of Philadelphian’s who hold valid licenses to carry firearms reporting guns stolen from their motor vehicles, only to have their carry licenses revoked by the Philadelphia Police Department.
    To my knowledge, nowhere in the state’s Uniform Firearms Act is theft mentioned as a valid reason for license revocation. The practice is akin to revoking someone’s driver’s license if his car is stolen. It is a case of punishing the victim.
    No wonder lawful gun owners are leery about reporting stolen firearms.


    Response from first reader:
    The fact that people who report that their handgun was stolen from their car deserves to have their gun permits taken away! Do you know why? Because you are not permitted to leave your weapon in a vehicle. In must be concealed on your body! That's why it's called a "License To Carry", not "License To Keep In Car". Now if it was stolen from your home, that's a different story. People who fail to follow simple laws like, not leaving a handgun unattended in your car, are not responsible enough to be trusted with carrying a weapon in the first place! Ignorant people should never be given a License to Carry. If you have a permit, don't be surprised if you get rejected, come renewal time


    Response from second reader:
    I read your letter in today's edition of the Inquirer.
    I believe that no one should leave a gun unattended in a parked car. If they do so, they should have their license to carry suspended.
    If the license is to carry, it should be carried. If you plan to go some place where you can't take your gun with you, leave it at home


    My response to them. (It varied a bit in both emails, but essentially read as follows):
    Hi --,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter.
    First off, I absolutely agree with you that leaving a firearm unattended in a vehicle is not the smartest move. I, personally, would never do so; unless, of course, I had a locked vehicle safe in which to place it, which manufacterers do make. Still, I'd prefer to keep it on my person when legally possible.
    The only time I guess I would be left with no other choice but to leave a firearm in a vehicle would be if I was on the road and had to make a stop at a place like the post office, which is one of the few places in Pennsylvania that is off limits due to federal law.
    Where I disagree with you, however, concerns the license itself, and its purpose. A license to "carry" enables a citizen to protect him or herself outside of the home. Nowhere does this say that one has to literally be on "foot" while carrying. Besides, as per state law, one needs a license to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle, since the act of being in a vehicle is considered "concealing."
    Outside of Philadelphia, "open" carrying, or carrying a gun on one's hip in a holster out in plain sight is perfectly legal. Contrary to popular belief, "open" carrying is actually acceptable in Philadelphia as well, however, as per state law, this act requires a license, since Philly is a City of the First Class, whereas no license is required to open carry in the other 60-some counties.
    However, the entire point of my letter was actuallyl a legal one, and one addressing abuse of police power. Pennsylvania is a "shall issue" state, meaning issuing authorities are supposed to give a citizen a license to carry unless there are prohibiting circumstances, (i.e. felony record, active protection from abuse order, etc.). But the Philadelphia Police Department, which handles issuing licenses in Philly, has single-handledly circumvented the licensing process by making it more difficult, often rejecting applicants simply because they may "feel" someone shouldn't have a gun. The very point of "shall issue" legislation was to prevent such abuse and widespread discretion on the part of issuing authorities.
    At the same time, the act of revoking someone's license for having their property stolen is yet another such example of the police taking matters into their own hands, and making up the rules. My point was that theft is not a legal reason for license revocation as per state statute, yet the police here in the city do just that, at least from testimonials I've heard.
    (Again, I agree, leaving a gun unattended in a vehicle is incredibly stupid; but, despite your contention, it's not illegal).
    Until "law enforcement" starts enforcing the "law," people will continue to be leery of their government.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    how about the fact that breaking into someones car and stealing their property is ILLEGAL and has nothing to do with the actions of leaving your gun ,say, locked in your glovebox.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    I see where you are coming from and agree 100%.

  4. #4
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    Kingston, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    The link to Philly.com is here.

    There are only 5 comments so far and they are already entertaining.
    Last edited by morebbqplease; February 17th, 2010 at 10:58 AM. Reason: more info
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    Unarmed people don't get to write the history books, they either die or are enslaved.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    As someone who had their gun stolen from their vehicle (in another state, conforming to their laws mind you) the car was the only legal (key word) option I had. If I had been allowed to carry legally I would have been, which would have effectively kept my gun out of the hands of criminals.

    And to what Chemical noted, agreed.

  6. #6
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    Center Ice, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaos View Post
    As someone who had their gun stolen from their vehicle (in another state, conforming to their laws mind you) the car was the only legal (key word) option I had. If I had been allowed to carry legally I would have been, which would have effectively kept my gun out of the hands of criminals.

    And to what Chemical noted, agreed.
    Exactly! Maybe if the entire US would recognize the 2nd amendment for what it truly is, we would have issues such as this.

    I can't carry a gun to work, or even in my car because I m on Federal property. What happens to me when my car breaks down on I80 and I don't have protection until someone can come and get me? Normally I would get out, look at the situation, and try and fix it if possible. But If I'm not carrying, anything could happen to me. Do you think the govt will even apologize to my family for being accessories to my murder? Nope.

    There would be a lot less problems if only the govt used their heads..
    III%

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    The LTCF is for carrying concealed on or abouts one's person, and in a vehicle. Carry means to transport, it doesn't solely mean on your person. Also, there is NO law against leaving a gun unattended in a vehicle so long as you have a LTCF. ...so the first asshat doesn't get a cookie.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    The LTCF is for carrying concealed on or abouts one's person, and in a vehicle. Carry means to transport, it doesn't solely mean on your person. Also, there is NO law against leaving a gun unattended in a vehicle so long as you have a LTCF. ...so the first asshat doesn't get a cookie.
    Bolded by me. This is the only thing that matters. The Philadelphia Police Department's Gun Permits Unit cannot revoke your LTCF for a non-violation that isn't related to character.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    Well then, those folks who are so against car storage need to make it so folks can carry everywhere they need to go on a daily basis. Then people will quit leaving them in cars. Write every business with a "no guns" policy and tell them that they are assisting theft of firearms by forcing people to leave them in cars.

    Of course they won't do this, because their solution to everything is for people to not carry.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My letter and responses it generated

    Quote Originally Posted by kcr121 View Post
    The Philadelphia Police Department's Gun Permits Unit cannot revoke your LTCF for a non-violation that isn't related to character.
    True. Character is a slippery concept, though. There's absolutely no law against leaving your gun on the dashboard of your convertible with the top down. For that matter, there's absolutely no law against leaving your gun on the table at a restaurant while you use the bathroom.







    Say, that gives me an idea! How about we all meet at a Ponderosa and leave our orange-tipped Dracos on the table while we all go outside for a smoke! It's perfectly legal, so any true lover of freedom will applaud the idea.

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