Gun Rights are Under Attack in Pennsylvania Right Now
They just won’t stop subverting your fundamental rights
The legion of gun control zealots who would step all over the constitution and gun-owner rights in a mad scramble to enact their authoritarian agenda aren’t slowing down for anything – not common sense or the declared state of medical emergency.
And as liberal politicians in other states push hard against gun rights, so too is Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf trying to get in on the confiscation and regulation action.
Back in March, Wolf declared that gun stores, and by extension the Second Amendment, were “non-life-sustaining” and forced them to close on March 23rd. Following a dissenting opinion from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David Wecht and two other Justices, Wolf quietly removed gun shops from that list, allowing them to re-open on March 25th.
Their opinion made it clear that Governor Wolf’s shuttering of gun shops amounted to “an absolute and indefinite prohibition upon the acquisition of firearms by the citizens of this commonwealth – a result in clear tension with the Second Amendment.”
But that didn’t even phase other gun control harpies.
Gun control activists are making their usual empty pleas and demands of the public, pushing the usual falsehoods about guns being more dangerous for gun owners than useful as protection.
And at the same time, their cronies in the state legislatures and in Congress are likewise pushing hard for more gun control measures.
Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam just signed sweeping gun control bill, many of which passed in the final days of the General Assembly session in March. The laws signed by Northam include ones to enact the controversial “red flag” laws that violate due process, require background checks on all private gun transfers, mandate reporting of lost and stolen firearms in a way that would penalize crime victims, and reinstate Virginia’s unconstitutional one-handgun-a-month policy that targets law-abiding gun owners.
Right now, scheming pro-gun control lawmakers want the Pennsylvania House to pass a bill that requires Pennsylvanians to get a costly license to buy ammunition, while imposing a sharp tax on ammunition sales.
Anti-gun state Rep. Thomas Murt, (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia), the urbanite lawmaker who is not seeking re-election, introduced House Bill 2344 to the House Judiciary Committee. This would be yet another tax on law-abiding gun owners, who pay excise taxes on gun-related sales that fund conservation projects.
Murt’s 25-page bill states that “A person holding an ammunition purchase authorization permit issued under this section may purchase or otherwise seek the transfer of ownership of ammunition from a retailer that sells ammunition.”
In addition to mandating state residents acquire a permit to buy bullets, Murt’s legislation sets for a surcharge for gun and ammo sales: “There is hereby imposed on each sale of a firearm or ammunition subject to tax under Article II of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, an additional surcharge of $3. This shall be referred to as the Firearm and Ammunition Sale Surcharge.”
Residents would also be barred from bringing in ammunition bought from other states without coordinating with a licensed dealer. The bill would also effectively end internet ammunition sale and delivery
While House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman has vowed that HB 2344 will not make it out of committee, the threat to Keystone state gunowners remains direct and immediate.
Why? Because this comes at time when gun sales are surging in Pennsylvania, according to gun shop owners, and county sheriff’s offices are issuing gun permits at a rate twice the norm.
The FBI reports that nationwide, background checks for gun sales in March 2020 hit 3,740,688, the single highest month in the more than 21 years the agency required instant checks for gun sales. The National Shooting Sports Foundation says that background checks for firearm purchases in March 2020 were up 80.4% over March 2019 numbers. The week of March 16 had the most gun background checks ever performed in a single week.
People want the right to protect themselves and their property in times of crisis.
This is underscored by the fact that many police departments in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have effectively issued stand-down orders on all but the most violent crimes to prevent contact and the spread of the virus.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw in late March announced that the Philadelphia police would no longer be arresting those committing narcotics offenses, theft, burglary, retail theft, vandalism and other such offenses, prompting a surge in firearms purchases.
Add to that, anecdotally, in both urban areas like Philadelphia and places like Lancaster township, vagrants and the homeless have become more aggressive and threatening in their panhandling tactics.
This is only the latest threat to gun rights for Pennsylvanians. In his 2020 Budget Address, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf outlined that his proposed gun control agenda includes extreme gun confiscation under “red flag” laws that circumvent due process, criminalizing private transfers of firearms, imposing liability on gun owners who are the victims of theft, mandatory firearms storage standards for private homeowners,
Gun owners in Lancaster County, in Pennsylvania and in America have to stand up and say “No more!” to these incremental and direct assaults on their rights and liberties.
Pennsylvania – by way of the continental congress in Philadelphia – was, in essence, the birthplace of the concept of the unalienable right to life, and the right to keep and bear all the means necessary to secure it.
We cannot allow Harrisburg to become the place of its death.