Monday, July 20, 2009

Pa. Mayors Against Illegal Guns Have Message for Specter

This just in from Mayors Against Illegal Guns:

"Today 106 PA Mayors printed an open letter to Senator Specter as a full page ad in the Philly Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette -- urging him to oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. ( You can read the letter here.)

"The legislation, which could come up for a vote today, has received surprising little attention. If it becomes law, it will undermine Pennsylvania's permitting guidelines -- requiring PA to accept concealed carry permits from any other state in the nation -- even if the person would not otherwise be eligible in PA. Pennsylvania currently accepts the permits issued by 17 states -- but 25 do not meet sufficient standards. This is about states rights, and protecting our citizens and out police.

"Since 2002, assaults on police officers in PA have increased 76% and 18 have been shot and killed in the line of duty. This sort of irresponsible mandate is the last thing Pennsylvania needs."

The Philadelphia Daily News condemns this proposal as the "latest outrage from the NRA-controlled Congress" and "an egregrious trampeling of state's rights."

20 comments:

Joe G. said...

Glad to see that growing group of Pennsylvania mayors showing real leadership on this bill and on gun violence in general across PA.

The mayors just get it, whether they're from a big city like Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, or a small town like Eagles Mere or Oxford:

Gun violence affects us all, and we all have a role to play in reducing it.

Kudos to PA's mayors for their leadership.

We can only hope that Members of Congress lead as well and oppose this terrible bill, the Thune Amendment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the mayors.

Anonymous said...

It's always the people in the burbs and in the boonies that fight for the right bear arms and defend themselves when they have little crime to deal with, and the people that live in the cities and actually live among crime, that insist on gun control.

lighthouse said...

PA Constitution, Declaration of Rights: Section 21--"The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

Unlike the US Second Amendment, which divides pro/con gun control depending on which half they latch on to ("well regulated militia" vs "the right of the people"), PA's Constitution is pretty explicit--"the right...shall not be questioned."

That applies to PA citizens, and is a reason why I do not see how efforts by Philly and Pgh for greater restrictions should ever be upheld in a PA court.

This bill, however, involves a separate issue, that of the inherent conflicts between the Reserved powers of the States in the US 10th Amendment, and US Article IV, Section 1 "full faith and credit" clause. This tension rears itself whenever one state has different standards than another, whether it be the proposed gun bill, or the increasingly different "marriage" laws (should DOMA ever be successfully challenged). When does a state have the right not to recognize standards of another that are unacceptable to them?

PA is, and should be, a "right to carry" state. Yet, in an awkward agreement with the Mayors on this narrow point, I do agree PA should be able to reject other state's permits for non-PA citizens.

Final thought: it doesn't really matter. Law abiding gun owners are not the problem, and if a criminal wants to carry a gun into PA he/she is going to regardless of whether this bill is passed. Opposing this bill just allows people to beat their chests and say, "we did something" without really doing anything of substance to reduce crime.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that much about guns ect. but I do know Allentown is a dangerous place to be.I never seem to read that people arrested for firearms crimes seem to have a permit issued by Lehigh or Northampton County

Anonymous said...

The mayors are blaming inanimate objects for the mess that revolving door prison system have created.

Nearly every violent crime story contains a litany of the criminal's prior record. Why don't we address this?

It's too easy to blame guns. The Columbine kids broke 1,200 state and federal laws. It's doubtful that law #1201 would have made any difference. But that was the immediate, predicdable reaction of politicians.

It's much more difficult to admit government's limitations and failures, and then attempt to address them.

And no, I don't now, and never have, owned a gun.

Anonymous said...

Guns don't kill people. Politicians bent on disarming urban, primarily minority populations do.

The areas become lawless, as only the lawless now have guns. Nobody accepts disarmament. Those with means move away. Those without means must stay and become a new class of criminals.

Eventually, we all become as safe as Philadelphia.

Some day, we will all be criminals.

Anonymous said...

Dear 3:25

Pa. is not a right to carry state
unless you get an approval from your local sheriff's office. They don't just give anyone the right to carry a gun on them without a permit to carry. So my guess is that you have misconstrued the Pa. constitution. However I think they should give all the moronic rednecks a gun and have a moron shoot (not unlike the pigeon shoots). Give prizes to the last moron standing..

Anonymous said...

A few points of comments from an ex-deputy sheriff that has done over 10,000 background checks in his career.

1. Pennsylvania, by law, is a "shall issue" state. If an applicant is not prohibited by enumerated offenses, the Sheriff shall (which means must) issue the license.

2. The license to carry firearms is for carrying a firearm concealed on or about his/her person or while driving an automobile.

3. In Northampton County alone, there are over 10,000 licenses issued to citizens within the county.

On a side note, it would be interesting to hear from the mayors, how many of the homicides were carried out by those who were issued licenses to carry and how many were carried out by those that did not. Does one issue correlate to the other? Just asking.

Bill Hillanbrand

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bill,

Your input is appreciated. I spent some time today talking to NC and LC about their concealed weapons applications. I'll be posting about that, but your comment makes me realize I'm not ready. I'll try and nail down the number of permits issued in both counties.

Anonymous said...

I know it's evil but I always secretly wish these crazy right wing gun rights people get one of their kids picked off in a shooting. Republicans seem to never be empathetic or imaginative in their thinking. They only understand something if it actually happens to them, like Nancy Reagan supporting stem cell research. If Ronald didn't come down with Alzheimers I doubt she'd have that position...or Dick Cheney being pro gay rights, because he has a lesbian daughter...Republicans only understand things if it actually happens to them. Since they're all rich and live in the country, suburbs, or in gated racially pure communities like W, they'll never understand safe sane gun laws.

Archie Debunker said...

anon 10:29

re:

"I know it's evil but I always secretly wish these crazy right wing gun rights people get one of their kids picked off in a shooting"

Do some research on who's shooting whom and why. (Hint: it ain't redneck farmboy Skeeter jealous over Goober stealing his gal). Do some research on how those gun laws have reduced gun violence in Chicago and Washington DC. I would laugh but I can't. The numbnuts who enacted those laws should be barred from having children, having a job, being allowed to see the beauty of nature on a warm summer day, and wear a sign that says "if you think I'm dumb, you should meet the people who voted for me."

Then, when you're done with that. see a psychoanalyst about your super-warped case of schadenfreude.

99.999% of legal gun (ok, I'll admit, that's probably a lowball estimate) owners never discharge their weapon at another human being and of those who do, an overwhelming majority do so as self-defense.

But, if you want to ban guns like Stalin and Hitler did, so be it but just remember, they may not come for you first, but it's unlikely you'll be last. Think about it.

My plan it simple: anyone who wants to ban guns should live in DC, Camden, Detroit, Chicago, or Newark for 30 days. If I could invent a time machine, I'd make living during one of Stalin's purges a requirement too. "OOOOOOOOh look how safe we are, no one is allowed to own a gun, except for Mr. KGB over there coming to arrest me. OOOOOOH I am so safe here since Comrade Neighborovich can't own a gun."

Anonymous said...

The areas being shot up are blue voter paradises. Go figure. Enjoy paradise. Vote Democrat.

Joe Hilliard said...

Uh, criminals break laws and kill police officers. Another law will mean nothing to them since they do not get permits to carry. Citizens who obey the law and follow the Right granted by the 2nd Amendment do not break the law and kill police officers.

This argument shows, once again, how liberals focus on the wrong things in order to make themselves feel good that they did something.

How about this? Anyone who commits a crime with a gun gets 20 years in jail. No wailing and whining about "rehabilitation". No stories about how the person was a "victim" of society. No complaints that the prisons are "overcrowded".

Nope, law abiding citizens have to be targeted...

Another disconnect by the Big Government crowd instead of solving the underlying problem.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stereotyping Joe!

I am a Democrat. I am also a civil rights advocate. Not a pick and choose civil rights advocate. All civil rights, including the right to own/carry firearms.

This is not an us vs. them, R vs D or conservative vs. liberal, so quit the fingerpointing and argue the issue, not the person.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

The group is named "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" but is once again going after the law-abiding gun owners. Perhaps the group should simply change its name to "Mayors Against All Guns".

By the way, there are plenty of studies that show a REDUCTION in crime after concealed carry is allowed. Since PA is already a "shall issue" state, it is natural to wonder how many more people would be carrying in PA because of reciprocity and if that would also help REDUCE crime.

As for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act itself, it should be passed. I currently have a concealed carry license. When I travel to another state, I must make the decision on whether to break the law by carrying in that state or leaving myself and my family less protected.

By the way, I think you will find that even in states that currently have less "sufficient" standards on concealed carry, the gun-carriers are still much LESS likely to commit a crime with a gun.

People who have concealed carry licenses (from any state) are not the people that we to be worried about. The Mayors know this.

Anonymous said...

"This is not an us vs. them, R vs D or conservative vs. liberal, so quit the fingerpointing and argue the issue, not the person."

Stop it. The record indicates quite clearly that one political leaning strongly favors disarming legal gun owners and pretending that criminals will suddenly start to comply with existing gun laws.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act itself, it should be passed. I currently have a concealed carry license. When I travel to another state, I must make the decision on whether to break the law by carrying in that state or leaving myself and my family less protected."

So convenience is the argument. I see. Under Pa. law, someone convicted of impersonating a police officer cannot concealed carry in Pa. Under Fl law, he can. If this bill makes its way thru Congress, then that means police officer impersonators can now get permits in Pa. And that makes my family and I feel less secure. It also weakens state's rights.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

Your scenario does NOT mean that "police officer impersonators can now get permits in Pa". It merely means that PA would not be able to charge that person with carrying a concealed weapon (since they have a concealed carry permit in Florida).

You and your family would be no less safe because of that. Just because you "feel" less secure, does not mean that you are.

If that person commits a crime they will be charged with that crime. If they or anyone else wants to do harm, a restriction on concealed carry restriction will not stop them anyway.

Resident of Allentown said...

Dear 3:25

"Pa. is not a right to carry state
unless you get an approval from your local sheriff's office. They don't just give anyone the right to carry a gun on them without a permit to carry. So my guess is that you have misconstrued the Pa. constitution. However I think they should give all the moronic rednecks a gun and have a moron shoot (not unlike the pigeon shoots). Give prizes to the last moron standing.."

You are mistaken.
You do not need a permit to openly carry a firearm in PA. You do need a permit if you plan to carry it concealed on your person or transport it loaded in your car.
For more details see paopencarry.org