[ED: See TTAG’s earlier post on Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro’s ruling here.]
HARRISBURG, PA (December 20, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a petition and emergency motion in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania seeking an injunction against Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick following Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s press release and unlawful gun ban opinion mandating that PSP treat non-firearm objects and materials as regulated firearms. The court filings are available at pafirearmcase.com and
Along with Attorney General Shapiro publishing his misguided December 16 opinion, the PSP modified its “Instant Check System” website to include a new rule the Commissioner apparently began enforcing on December 16. The rule in pertinent part says that, “[a]s of 12-16-19, the sale of partially-manufactured (often referred to as 80%) frames and receivers and kits which include the same, requires a background check through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, in accordance with the Attorney General’s binding opinion and applicable requirements within the [Uniform Firearms Act]. No sales may occur by a licensed firearms dealer without such a check. PSP is not yet ready to process such checks. . .”
Petitioners include Landmark Firearms LLC of Newville, Pennsylvania, US Rifle, LLC of Dublin, New Hampshire, Polymer80, Inc. of Dayton, Nevada, and FPC. Representing the petitioners are Joshua Prince, Chief Counsel of Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., and FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut.
“PSP Commissioner Evanchick’s unprecedented actions to conspire with Pennsylvania Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro and turn law-abiding Pennsylvania residents and others into criminals with a stroke of a pen defies the Pennsylvania Constitution and the rule of law,” said Prince. “As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared, our State Constitution protects against the arbitrary exercise of unnecessary and uncontrolled discretionary power, and only the Pennsylvania General Assembly has the power to make law. It is truly a sad day for our Commonwealth when our top elected officials, who swear an oath to uphold and defend the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions violate them with both impunity and zeal.”
“Rule by executive fiat was rejected by the Thirteen American Colonies, including Pennsylvania, when they declared independence from England, and we reject such lawlessness today,” explained Kraut. “The Attorney General’s revisionist legal opinion adds an entire class of inanimate objects to the definition of ‘firearm’ under Pennsylvania law that the General Assembly never considered, nor intended. As such, we are requesting the Commonwealth Court to enjoin Commissioner Evanchick and his Pennsylvania State Police from implementing and enforcing any policy or practice that would follow the Attorney General’s misguided definitional structure.”
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.