Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #11
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    We're going to find out whether the cure (government response) kills both the virus and the patient (country).
    "You gotta be alive to get paid."

  2. #12
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by staylo View Post
    I’m certainly not a lawyer, but wouldn’t the following section apply to a disease or virus?

    I certainly don’t support the governor’s actions, and I think the quarantine, in the long run, is going to be far more damaging to the country than the virus, but this is a legal theory discussion and it seems like a case could be made that a pandemic would qualify as a “catastrophe which results in… hardship, suffering, or possible loss of life”.
    You are correct. The courts would almost certainly find that a pandemic that's killing people and is spreading at a geometric rate, would qualify under the statute.

    Whether the statute itself is constitutional, I don't know yet, but look at all the cases taken to PA courts that bit gun owners in the ass.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    There's merit to carrying your backup mag in a backup gun.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by staylo View Post
    I’m certainly not a lawyer, but wouldn’t the following section apply to a disease or virus?

    I certainly don’t support the governor’s actions, and I think the quarantine, in the long run, is going to be far more damaging to the country than the virus, but this is a legal theory discussion and it seems like a case could be made that a pandemic would qualify as a “catastrophe which results in… hardship, suffering, or possible loss of life”.
    It seems it's the *reaction* to the catastrophe that is more likely to lead to "hardship, suffering, or possible loss of life".

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong...

  4. #14
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt.K View Post
    It seems it's the *reaction* to the catastrophe that is more likely to lead to "hardship, suffering, or possible loss of life".

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong...
    I thought so at first but compare the Kung Flu numbers between South Korea and Italy.

    You can't trust anything China says but they cracked down hard on quarantines as only a Communist regime can, and supposedly they're on the other side of the upward trend.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by RockIsland View Post
    I thought so at first but compare the Kung Flu numbers between South Korea and Italy.

    You can't trust anything China says but they cracked down hard on quarantines as only a Communist regime can, and supposedly they're on the other side of the upward trend.
    wouldnt really trust China on anything they say. they are kicking out western journalists who have reported lines at hospitals in parts of the country. the government is more worried about losing their manufacturing power then their people.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Delkal View Post
    One of the smaller local bars in Bucks got shut down by the Board of health 2 nights ago. My girlfriends friend thought it was closed but the regulars told her it was open that night and "everyone's here". She was there for a while till some "official" came by and told them to close.
    This is when you exercise your 2nd amendment right.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    One of my neighbors' family owns a mfg company and he told me that they'll be open until the po leece drag them out of there. LOL
    I believe manufacturing is 'allowed' to continue during the 'suggested mandate' period.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by staylo View Post
    I’m certainly not a lawyer, but wouldn’t the following section apply to a disease or virus?

    I certainly don’t support the governor’s actions, and I think the quarantine, in the long run, is going to be far more damaging to the country than the virus, but this is a legal theory discussion and it seems like a case could be made that a pandemic would qualify as a “catastrophe which results in… hardship, suffering, or possible loss of life”.
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    You are correct. The courts would almost certainly find that a pandemic that's killing people and is spreading at a geometric rate, would qualify under the statute.

    Whether the statute itself is constitutional, I don't know yet, but look at all the cases taken to PA courts that bit gun owners in the ass.
    Why then don’t they use it for the flu virus????

  9. #19
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by 45Doll View Post
    Yes, there are some. Note especially the section related to firearms and confiscation.

    Hat tip to Joshua. On the job as always.

    https://blog.princelaw.com/2020/03/1...nd-ammunition/

    GOVERNOR WOLF CAN NEITHER SHUTDOWN PRIVATE BUSINESS NOR CONFISCATE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
    Posted on March 18, 2020 by Joshua Prince, Esq.
    Since Governor Wolf’s virtual press conference on March 16, 2020, there has been a lot of confusion about what, exactly, “nonessential” business are, whether he could shut them down, and speculation on whether he might seek to seize firearms and ammunition.

    During the press conference, he declared that “effective at midnight all nonessential stores are to close in Pennsylvania as well as bars and restaurants, except for takeout . . .” He also stated that he “anticipates” that the closure will remain in effect for two weeks but would not commit to it ending after those two weeks.

    While no one knows what Governor Wolf meant by “nonessential” and there is no executive order or written proclamation to look to, we first need to determine whether a Pennsylvania governor has the power and/or authority to order the closure of private businesses, regardless of whether essential or nonessential.

    Governor Wolf cited the Emergency Management Services Code, 35 Pa.C.S. § 7101, et seq. – “Emergency Code” as the basis for his power. But what powers, exactly, does that law confer?

    Section 7301 sets forth the explicit powers of the Governor during a “disaster”. Thus, before we address the putative powers of a governor in Pennsylvania during a “disaster,” we need to know what constitutes a disaster and whether COVID-19 constitutes such. For that, we need to look to the definitional section found in Section 7102. There, we find the following definitions –

    “Disaster.” A man-made disaster, natural disaster or war-caused disaster.

    “Man-made disaster.” Any industrial, nuclear or transportation accident, explosion, conflagration, power failure, natural resource shortage or other condition, except enemy action, resulting from man-made causes, such as oil spills and other injurious environmental contamination, which threatens or causes substantial damage to property, human suffering, hardship or loss of life.

    “Natural disaster.” Any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion or other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.

    “War-caused disaster.” Any condition following an attack upon the United States resulting in substantial damage to property or injury to persons in the United States caused by use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means, or other weapons or overt paramilitary actions, or other conditions such as sabotage.

    What is glaringly absent from all those definitions is the word “disease” or “virus” and, as a result, the Emergency Code does not apply to COVID-19. One might think that is an oversight, but the General Assembly has explicitly enacted a law regarding disease – the Disease Prevention and Control Law, 35 P.S. § 521.19 – and that law does not provide the Governor with the power to close private business, regardless of whether essential or nonessential. Oh, and by the way, none of the laws talk about essential and nonessential businesses.

    Perhaps most importantly is Article 1, Section 12 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which provides

    § 12. Power of suspending laws. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised unless by the Legislature or by its authority.

    But what about the concern over firearms?

    First, since the Emergency Code does not apply to COVID-19, the powers bestowed upon the Governor in Section 7301 are meaningless. But, if we assume, arguendo and for philosophical debate, that the Emergency Code did apply, what powers does the Governor have to regulate firearms and ammunition?

    Going back to Section 7301, the General Assembly, in violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Sections 21 and 25 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, seemingly provided the Governor with limited power to regulate firearms. Specifically, Section 7301(f)(8) provides:

    (f) Additional powers.–In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, the Governor may: …

    (8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles.

    BUT, the General Assembly would later address the concern of seizure post-Katrina by enacting 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107(b), which provides:

    (b) Seizure, taking and confiscation.–Except as otherwise provided under subsection (a) and notwithstanding the provisions of 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to Commonwealth services) or any other provision of law to the contrary, no firearm, accessory or ammunition may be seized, taken or confiscated during an emergency unless the seizure, taking or confiscation would be authorized absent the emergency.

    c) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

    “Accessory.” Any scope, sight, bipod, sling, light, magazine, clip or other related item that is attached to or necessary for the operation of a firearm.

    “Firearm.” The term includes 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 weapon.

    Nevertheless, it is time that Pennsylvania that we enact HB-1412 (permitting constitutional carry), HB-1747 (generally repealing 18 Pa.C.S. 6107 and removing “firearms” from 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301(f)(8)), and HB-303 (generally repealing the unconstitutional transportation laws). So, while you are self-quarantined, take a few minutes and contact your elected officials and demand that they enact these bills immediately (in addition to HB 1066 (preempting local regulation of firearms and providing for attorney fees and costs))! Many county sheriffs, in violation of their oaths and 18 Pa.C.S. § 5301, are refusing to issue licenses to carry firearms; thereby, placing individuals in harms way during a time where they need the ability to defend themselves the most
    "Cives Arma Ferant"

    "I know I'm not James Bond, that's why I don't keep a loaded gun under the pillow, or bang Russian spies on a regular basis." - GunLawyer001

  10. #20
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    Default Re: The Limits Of Governor Wolf's Power

    The Governor has effectively shut down I-80 to long distance traffic without technically ordering it. Just did a quick trans-Mississippi River back and forth on I-80. On the way out, Service Plaza restaurants in OH, IN, ILL were only serving food on a take out basis, but public food court areas were sealed off and "dining in" were closed. Restrooms open. Same way on the return except: Wolf ordered all State Rest Areas closed. None were open. Blocked off. No portable johns. No place to rest. Motorists can always get off I-80 at exits for fuel, restaurants, and restrooms if necessary. BUT.

    But his order yesterday he stopped restaurants from keeping dining areas open, which basically means, the restrooms in those areas are closed to the public too. A private restaurant is not like a Service Plaza with a separate area for common restrooms. If they have to close their dining areas to the public, the restrooms are part of the package. Did Wolf and his brain trust consider the implications?

    So, Wolf and other autocrats are capable of basically shutting down interstate travel by their edicts without being quite so visible about it. They probably would stop short of directly attempting to control interstate commerce and receive a legal challenge on that, but they can, and in PA, Wolf has, effectively shut it down by cobbling together a series of lesser orders.

    So folks, unless you pack a lunch and have an iron bladder, getting through PA from OH to NJ on I-80 is quite the adventure. Technically it is open, but as a practical matter it is not. I would venture to guess that over the road travel was half in volume from what I am used to seeing. Trucks outnumbered passenger cars about 2 to 1. I know because I could count them going by in the other direction, that is how light the traffic was.

    Next crisis: The next "Great Depression". What do these governors think they are going to do in a few more months, rescind their orders, snap their fingers and have everything just open up like normal. The businesses are going to be bankrupt, gone, not there -- especially the small ones.

    The operations was successful, but the patient died.

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