Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pistol Packin' Momma Invades Voter Registration Office

She's done it again. On Friday, failed Northampton County Council candidate Tricia Mezzacappa created a stir at a GOP fundraiser by prancing around with a pistol in a holster. Since the Commonwealth's second highest ranking official, Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, was the featured speaker, state troopers on hand were a tad put out, and persuaded her to check her piece. But there were no state troopers on hand when an armed Mezzacappa decided to invade Northampton County's Register of Elections office on Monday. Once again, she was wearing her pea-shooter in a holster.

I spotted her as she sauntered in.

Although Pennsylvania is an "open carry" state, you need a license to carry firearms if you want to transport a gun, loaded or unloaded, in a vehicle. So eventually, Mezzacappa will be arrested.

But her recent actions, both on Friday and Monday, will likely lead to much needed gun control.

Under state law, it is illegal to bring a weapon inside a courthouse or a "court-related facility." But is the Elections Office a court-related facility? Those workers might be considered "court clerks," in which case they would be covered. They might not. I can see arguments both ways. But that office, which is where the votes are counted, should be completely free of intimidation. How can that be when a candidate is in their face, packin' heat?

Let's use some common sense. Like our school children, government officials are increasingly becoming targets for mentally ill people. That risk is both substantial and real. For that reason, there needs to be a ban on all weapons at any County-owned or leased facility.

What about state preemption, you say? The County has no right to regulate firearms, you'll argue. That is a matter for the state. But I'd respond that the County, and any other local government, has every right to regulate its own property, as Philly recently did by banning all weapons inside its parks.

Some Council members are currently mulling exactly this kind of solution.

Local municipalities should probably review their ordinances and make changes as needed.

It wouldn't hurt if state legislators adopted some changes adopting an outright ban inside any municipal building or facility.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

She is like a child looking for attention. "Daddy Daddy look at me !" Can`t imagine what she was like growing up ...? But maybe I know , she still hasn`t.

Anonymous said...

1993-2

IN RE: ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 1993-2 -- WEAPONS SCREENING


ORDER OF COURT


AND NOW, this 5th day of April, 1993, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Sheriff of Northampton County shall conduct weapons screening for all who enter the Northampton County Govern-ment Center in accord with recommendations heretofore submitted by the United States Marshals Service. All who enter the Northampton County Government Center shall comply with the directions of the Sheriff with reference to weapons screening procedures.


BY THE COURT,

Robert A. Freedberg, P.J.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I looked that over. Unfortunately, what was the Northampton County Government Center is now called the courthouse, and the Elections Office is not in it. It's across the street. I believe an Ordinance is needed to protect county workers outside of the courthouse at facilities like Gracedale, the elections office, the controller's office, and human services offices.

Anonymous said...

2006-11


IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY,
PENNSYLVANIA
CRIMINAL DIVISION


IN RE: IMPLEMENTATION OF :
RECOMMENDATIONS OF :
PENNSYLVANIA STATE :
POLICE RISK AND :
VULNERABILITY :
ASSESSMENT TEAM :
(BUILDING ACCESS AND :
WEAPON SCREENING) :

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2006-11

AND NOW, this day of September, 2006, based upon the recommendations of the
Pennsylvania State Police, Domestic Security Office, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Team, it
is hereby ordered that the Sheriff of Northampton County shall implement the following building
access and weapon screening procedures at the Northampton County Courthouse complex:


1. The Sheriff shall issue identification cards to public officials and
county employees, who shall enter the Courthouse complex
through either the Employee Entrance on the east side of the
courthouse complex or the Rotunda Entrance. The Sheriff
shall design and implement a random weapon screening
procedure for public officials and county employees.


2. All other persons, including attorneys not employed by the county
and title searchers, shall enter the courthouse complex through
the Rotunda Entrance where they shall pass through a weapon
screening procedure designed and implemented by the Sheriff.


3. Entrance and departure through all doors other than the Rotunda
Entrance and the Employee Entrance shall be prohibited.


4. Persons with physical disabilities may enter the courthouse
complex through either the Employee Entrance or the Rotunda
Entrance as they choose. They shall be subject to the same
weapon screening procedure as other members of the public.


5. The Sheriff shall design and implement a procedure whereby
persons making deliveries through the loading dock communicate
with the Sheriff’s control center to gain access. The Sheriff
shall design and implement a weapon screening procedure for
delivery persons and for the items which they deliver.


6. Appropriate security personnel shall be present from 7:00 A.M. to
11:00 P.M. daily to control access to the courthouse complex
and to screen for weapons for visitors during other than regular
business hours. Monitoring of the complex after 11:00 P.M. shall
be performed at the Northampton County Prison control center
or by on-duty security personnel as the County Executive shall
determine. Only public officials, county employees, and members
of the public attending governmental meetings shall be permitted
in the Courthouse complex at times other than regular business
hours.


7. The County Executive or the President of County Council may
direct that members of the public attending governmental
meetings in the courthouse complex after regular business hours
shall enter through the Employee Entrance.


8. This Order is effective immediately.

BY THE COURT:

________________________
ROBERT A. FREEDBERG, P. J.

Anonymous said...

I respect Trisha's guts and love of freedom. She is not afraid to stand up to her haters like you and your fako macho buddies. However, on this one I disagree with her. Weapons should not be allowed in government buildings. They should only be held by authorized trained security or law enforcement staff.

That is just common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is not always something the teabaggers understand.

Anonymous said...

Problem is it doesn`t cover non court buildings.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Right. I think the courts should be consulted in addition to drafting an ordinance.

Anonymous said...

State statutes are clear on this one. Statutes clearly identify where firearms are allowed, or not. Preemption is strong in Pennsylvania and ask any municipal attorney whether his client can ban firearms from parks or municipal buildings and the attorney will say yes, but be prepared for a suit that you will settle or lose. The City of Philadelphia is a First Class City with special powers afforded it by the State when it comes to firearms. For instance, one needs a LTCF to "open carry" in Philly. This is not the case anywhere else in the State.

Anonymous said...

"As Republicans, we hold our candidates and political officials to a high standard of behavior and living within the law and expect each to exhibit that standard to the general public," the statement read. "Recently, several news accounts reported actions and statements made by Northampton County Council and West Easton Borough candidate Tricia Mezzacappa that are inconsistent with the beliefs and standards of the Northampton County Republican Committee. As such, we, as a committee, disavow her statements and actions as reported."

When asked to elaborate, Craig DeFranco, the acting chairman of the Republican committee, said the statement came regarding alleged threats Mezzacappa leveled against blogger Bernie O'Hare and her disorderly conduct conviction"

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:29, One may not open carry in Philly bc the state law specifically states that one my not open carry in Philly. Read the law.

Philly passed an ordinance banning guns in parks fully cognizant that gun loons will challenge them on preemption. They have a right to regulate their property.

In view of the violence inflicted against government officials, such a regulation is eminently reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said: "I spotted her as she sauntered in."

Did you observe her getting into or out of her vehicle? If so, you are a witness to a crime and should report what you saw to the proper authorities. Unless she walked to the Voter Registration Office, she broke the law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, I did not see her getting in or out of a vehicle. Had I seen that, I would have called police.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:48

You are misdirecting Mr. O'Hare's statement to emcompass more than his verbitim statement attesting to witnessing Tricia "walking" through the threshold of the Election's Office.

You are extrapolating fact into hypothetical Falsehoods. Please stay on-topic. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare didn't notice the gun as she exite4d her vehicle. he was to busy looking for an upskirt view.

Too late Bernie, that is now Gregory territory.

Anonymous said...

"You are extrapolating fact into hypothetical Falsehoods. Please stay on-topic. Thank You."

11:02 AM, I was simply asking O'Hare a question. Did she walk to the Voter Registration Office or did she drive there with a gun in her vehicle? Walking there would be legal. Driving there with a gun in the vehicle would not be, unless the driver had a valid LTCF. Hers was revoked.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how she got the gun to the voter registration office. It is against the law to have a gun on County Property unless it is designated for recreational hunting, or a firing range, archery range etc. All County buildings are off limits for carrying firearms. She could be prosecuted for having a firearm on County Property. You don't walk on restricted property with a firearm and then ask is it okay to wear your sidearm.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I discovered that a few hours ago, and will be writing about it. An ordinance was adopted in 1988 that makes her actions illegal. But there probably should be signage.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:06, i did not see her vehicle. I only saw her, as I was making my way to the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

All mute points as last time I checked the 2nd amendment still stands. Right to bear arms

Anonymous said...

To 8:17 PM - Last time I checked the Second Amendment was not unlimited. The "right to bear arms" is subject to reasonable regulation by federal and state lawmakers.