By DC Dalton founder of the American Gun Owners Alliance
Pennsylvania has a state preemption law that prohibits local governments from enacting gun laws more stringent that state law. It’s been around since the 1970s. Unfortunately, it has no teeth behind it and liberal anti-gun cities in particular have felt emboldened to ignore it. They pass local legislation imposing their own local gun control schemes upon both residents and visitors. Their shenanigans have created quite a patchwork of local laws that has caused all manner of problems for good guy gun owners.
We thought we had it fixed with Pennsylvania ACT 192, the last bill Republican then-governor Corbett signed before he left office. Act 192 merely added teeth of Pennsylvania’s state preemption law on the books. It allowed any resident, or organization that had member residents in an offending municipality to sue to get these laws off the books and to recover legal fees and other costs if they won. ACT 192 got struck down because it was passed by adding it to another unrelated bill.
Fast forward to present day. Pennsylvania pro-gun Republicans introduced a new “Act 192” – HB 2258 – in June with 67 sponsors. The three-page bill passed out of the judiciary committee with an overwhelming 21-6 vote on September 20th and passed first consideration. At this point it looked like smooth sailing for the bill with some Republicans claiming they might have a veto-proof majority supporting the bill.
But then the house Democrats did something that has never happened in the history the Pennsylvania legislature. On September 27th, Democrats introduced 242 amendments to the bill. That’s right, 242 amendments filed by about 30 gun-hating liberal Democrats. And more are on the way. These Democrat legislators came mostly from (surprise!) Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, two of the worst-offending cities regarding illegal local laws on guns.
Michael Bloomberg couldn’t have put together a more frightening list of Second Amendment infringements if he tried. Everything from scary gun bans, magazine bans, magazine licensing, gun licensing, registration of all firearms, mandatory insurance, lost and stolen laws and more. Here’s the list of amendments so far.
Why the skulduggery on the part of big city Democrats? Well, their stronghold cities would have to repeal their local gun laws that keep the poor, inner city residents living there so dependent upon government for their safety. Those same local Democrat-run governments would be on the hook for monetary awards from gun-owner plaintiffs in this time of fiscal austerity.
Yes, the bill would force the big city Democrat party to free their residents from the gun control plantation!
Let’s face it: Pennsylvania’s hoplophobic Democrats had no ‘legal’ means to stop the bill so they decided political terrorism was their only remaining option. They know that the Republican leadership is leery about just tossing all the amendments out via parliamentary procedures. They also know there’s no way the House is going to sit through the nonsense of trying to hear and vote on all these amendments. It would bring Harrisburg to a standstill. So instead of sucking it up and allowing the bill to come to a vote they pulled this unprecedented stunt. It has become ‘by hook or by crook’ for the Democratic party.
This is the same type of nonsense we saw in Washington earlier with the House Dems’ grandstanding of their gun control ‘sit in’. If Democrats can’t get their way on gun control, they are now 100% committed to acts of childishness and political terrorism.
“It’s high time local municipalities were held to the same legal standards that Pennsylvania citizens are held to,” Kim Stolfer of the Firearms Owners Against Crime told me. I concur.
It’s time for gun owners nationwide to get involved. It’s time these Democrat politicians’ phones ring all day long with constituents screaming at them to stop these antics. If these scoundrels get away with it this time, they’ll use it nationwide.
At the same time Republican feet need held to the fire too. Republicans were elected to a strong majority and they need to start acting like they’re in charge. If the children are misbehaving, then leadership should send them to their room without supper.
So if you live in Pennsylvania, you may consider calling your legislator to let him know what you think. Let the Republicans know we’re watching. Either stand up and be counted or trust me, the terrorists will win.