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Thread: Four Day Gun Freeze in PA

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    http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com...811020-100.stm

    Sportsmen irate over 4-day freeze in gun sales
    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette




    HARRISBURG -- Sportsmen's groups and gun dealers may go to court for an injunction to block state police from taking a background investigation system for gun buyers out of action from Sept. 2 to 6.

    The gun owners and dealers, along with some legislators from both parties, are upset that would-be gun buyers won't be able to buy handguns, shotguns or rifles during the five-day span when the computerized instant background check system is shut down for an upgrade. The instant background check ensures that guns aren't sold to convicted felons.

    "We have retained legal counsel and are investigating the possibility of seeking an injunction to stop the state police'' from putting the instant background check system out of operation, said Kim Stolfer, an official of the Allegheny County Sportsmen's League and of the Firearms Owners Against Crime, a statewide group.

    He and Harry Schneider of the Pennsylvania Sportmen's Association said state law allows the background check system to be out of operation for no more than 48 hours. They said state police should permit background checks to be done on would-be gun buyers by using a federal "instant check'' system during the time when the state computer system was being updated.

    State police, who are part of the administration of Gov. Ed Rendell, were also taking flak today from legislators from both parties. Mr. Rendell is a Democrat and former mayor of Philadelphia.

    "This is just another attempt by liberals from Philadelphia to limit the rights of gun owners and those who wish to become a gun owner,'' said Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, who represents a rural area where many gun owners and hunters live. "Effort should be focused on ensuring the effectiveness of the (background check) system, not the concentration of shutting it down.''

    Leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus, which includes 57 House and Senate members, said state police only notified gun dealers on Aug. 8 about the proposed shutdown. They said that's not enough notice. They said the period around Labor Day is when hunting season for Canada geese and doves is held and the inability to buy guns will make it impossible for some people to hunt.

    "Implementing this (computer) shutdown at the beginning of hunting seems ill-advised and (shows) a lack of communication and consultation with sportsmen groups and businesses,'' said Reps. Marc Gergely, D-White Oak, and Keith Gillespie, R-York County.

    Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said, "The simple truth is the computer system needs to be upgraded and there is no perfect time to do the job.''

    State police spokeswoman Linette Quinn said the agency wasn't trying to inconvenience anyone and asked "people to hold tight until we get this done.''

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    Wynder wrote:

    Sportsmen irate over 4-day freeze in gun sales
    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette




    HARRISBURG -- Sportsmen's groups and gun dealers may go to court for an injunction to block state police from taking a background investigation system for gun buyers out of action from Sept. 2 to 6.

    ...

    He and Harry Schneider of the Pennsylvania Sportmen's Association said state law allows the background check system to be out of operation for no more than 48 hours. ...

    "This is just another attempt by liberals from Philadelphia to limit the rights of gun owners and those who wish to become a gun owner,'' said Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati...
    This is silly. It's not a question of intent by liberals to limit gun rights. He's just playing to the gun crowd.

    What it is is incompetence by the IT department in the State Police branch. Whoever the head of IT is at PSP should be fired immediately. A four day down is not called for. And, apparently, it is illegal.

    Fire the IT guy and maybe reprimand Colonel Millerfor approving the plan. He should have known better.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    This is the way it (heavier gun restrictions and bans) could start. Next the computer system will be having "random" errors and shutdowns. Seems like this could be the small snowball at the top of the mountain that can start an avalanche.

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    dngreer wrote:
    This is the way it (heavier gun restrictions and bans) could start. Next the computer system will be having "random" errors and shutdowns. Seems like this could be the small snowball at the top of the mountain that can start an avalanche.
    "Will be?"

    Nah. Slippery slope arguments are almost always...underwhelming. As is the case here.

    This is just incompetence in SP management. I say fire the PSP IT head. It more directly deals with the root cause of the flagrant PSP errors.

    Updating the systems involved is not rocket science. It's just IT.

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    HankT wrote:
    dngreer wrote:
    This is the way it (heavier gun restrictions and bans) could start. Next the computer system will be having "random" errors and shutdowns. Seems like this could be the small snowball at the top of the mountain that can start an avalanche.
    "Will be?"

    Nah. Slippery slope arguments are almost always...underwhelming. As is the case here.

    This is just incompetence in SP management. I say fire the PSP IT head. It more directly deals with the root cause of the flagrant PSP errors.

    Updating the systems involved is not rocket science. It's just IT.
    Hypothetical statement!!! Refer to the sentence right before: This is the way it (heavier gun restrictions and bans) could start. I am not saying this is going to happen; I am saying I could see this possibly happening....


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    If this was as company's computer system that they needed to make money, the upgrade would happen in the middle of the night and be up and running for the next business day...

    My gut reaction is that someone is manipulating this incident to shut down gun sales for 4 days... I really hope that's not the case, but 4 days seems a little long unless Governer Rendell is trying to save money by letting a local middle school computer class do the upgrade...

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    I've been a Network/Systems Administrator for many years. I currently work in an M$ Datacenter with thousands of databases, some consisting of multiple Terabytes.

    A four day downtime is political, not technical.
    "...our media are palace eunuchs gazing avidly at the harem of power and stroking their impotent pens in time to the rape of our liberties."
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    Nodoubt the governor, PSP et al feel entitled to get paid during this period when they are infringing on citizens' rights.All officialsinvolved should be charged with Abuse of Office and held personally liable for all legal fees to defend against litigation.

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    Four Day Gun Freeze...would give me a 4 day Brain freeze:what:...

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    The default in America is that you haven't commited a crime unless they can prove it. Carrying that logic over to this case would say that if you cant check then everyone is acceptable. So, it should just mean 'no background check' gun sales for the time that the system is down. Then see if it will take 4 days.:P

    Oh, wait, I see my error, I used logic.

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    Four DAYS to upgrade a computer system?

    I can fully bring over info from an old system to a new one in abuot 4 hours, and that's if I drive across town and take a lunch break while I"m doing it!
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    You do have to wonder if it is intentional when the authorities did not inform the FFLs of the option of using NICS to process transactions.

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    Looks like this issue has gotten bumped up. Complaints abound from Pennsylvnia citizens and the NRA, as per usual, isin the mix, helping out.

    I suppose theNRA-bashers (spit!) will find some reason to blame it for this debacle caused by the PSP.:P




    Pennsylvania Governor Names Panel To Review PICS System Shut Down!


    Friday, August 24, 2007


    Due to the widespread outrage ofPennsylvania sportsmen and gun owners, Governor Ed Rendell (D) has decided to appoint a seven-member panel to re-evaluate the recent decision of the Pennsylvania State Police to shut-down the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) from September 2 to September 6, at the beginning of dove and Canada goose season. The panel will consist of four State Legislators, Bob Schlemmer of the Governor’s Sportsmen’s Advisory Board, Melody Zullinger of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportmen’s Clubs, and Horsham Police Chief Bob Ruxton, also chairman of the state Chiefs of Police Association.


    In August, the Pennsylvania State Police notified us of its intent to shut down the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) from 6:00 PM Sunday, September 2, until 12:00 noon on Thursday, September 6., because of computer upgrades. While we understand and appreciate the need to upgrade the system’s hardware and software, we believe any maintenance should be done during non-business hours so that it does not inconvenience or interfere with a law-abiding citizen’s right to purchase a firearm.

    NRA has been working with the Pennsylvania State Police, members of the State Legislature, and the Attorney General to resolve this matter.

    Please contact Governor Ed Rendell (D) and your State Legislator today and respectfully urge him to postpone the maintenance until PICS can perform the needed maintenance without interfering with a law-abiding citizen’s right to purchase a firearm. Governor Rendell can be reached at (717) 787-2500 or visit http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html to send him an email The State Senate can be reached at (717) 787-5920 and the House of Representatives can be reached at (717) 787-2382.



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    HankT wrote:
    Looks like this issue has gotten bumped up. Complaints abound from Pennsylvnia citizens and the NRA, as per usual, isin the mix, helping out.

    I suppose theNRA-bashers (spit!) will find some reason to blame it for this debacle caused by the PSP.:P




    Pennsylvania Governor Names Panel To Review PICS System Shut Down!


    Friday, August 24, 2007


    Due to the widespread outrage ofPennsylvania sportsmen and gun owners, Governor Ed Rendell (D) has decided to appoint a seven-member panel to re-evaluate the recent decision of the Pennsylvania State Police to shut-down the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) from September 2 to September 6, at the beginning of dove and Canada goose season. The panel will consist of four State Legislators, Bob Schlemmer of the Governor’s Sportsmen’s Advisory Board, Melody Zullinger of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportmen’s Clubs, and Horsham Police Chief Bob Ruxton, also chairman of the state Chiefs of Police Association.


    In August, the Pennsylvania State Police notified us of its intent to shut down the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) from 6:00 PM Sunday, September 2, until 12:00 noon on Thursday, September 6., because of computer upgrades. While we understand and appreciate the need to upgrade the system’s hardware and software, we believe any maintenance should be done during non-business hours so that it does not inconvenience or interfere with a law-abiding citizen’s right to purchase a firearm.

    NRA has been working with the Pennsylvania State Police, members of the State Legislature, and the Attorney General to resolve this matter.

    Please contact Governor Ed Rendell (D) and your State Legislator today and respectfully urge him to postpone the maintenance until PICS can perform the needed maintenance without interfering with a law-abiding citizen’s right to purchase a firearm. Governor Rendell can be reached at (717) 787-2500 or visit http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html to send him an email The State Senate can be reached at (717) 787-5920 and the House of Representatives can be reached at (717) 787-2382.



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    It appears that they are skipping the real question. It's not "why did the PSP decide to do maintenance at an inconvenient time?", it's "Why is the citizen's right to keep and bear arms suspended just because the state can't hold up its end of the bargain?".

    As the old saying goes, if they can get you to ask the wrong questions, it doesn't matter what the answers are.

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    http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworl...,1013022.story

    Background check upgrade could wait, top lawman says But doing so to benefit gun dealers, hunters would cost money. By John L. Micek
    Call Harrisburg Bureau
    August 28, 2007

    If necessary, the Pennsylvania State Police could put off a scheduled upgrade to the computer system that processes criminal background checks for gun buyers until after the Christmas and New Year holidays, Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said Monday.

    In a speech to the Pennsylvania Press Club, the state's top lawman also said it's possible the four-day halt on sales that's scheduled to start Sunday could be delayed until later in September -- or it might just go ahead as planned.

    ''I look at it like there's never a good time to install new countertops in your kitchen,'' he said. ''You're always going to need somewhere to eat breakfast.''

    Miller said his staff is researching the logistical financial impact of swapping the dates. Other agencies, including state courts, prisons and schools, rely on the same 25-year-old criminal records database.

    Miller is expected to bring his recommendations today to Gov. Ed Rendell, who will make the final decision on whether to switch the date on what has been described as a ''badly needed'' upgrade to a rickety system that houses 47 million records.

    And if there is a change, depending on how, it's going to cost some money, Miller said. How much depends on how long the delay lasts.

    ''Absolutely, there will be a cost,'' he said. ''You're talking about a change in contract with vendors.''

    Some hunters and gun dealers have criticized the planned shutdown, charging that it will throw a wrench into holiday weekend sales and interfere with the early dove and Canada goose seasons, which begin Saturday.

    Miller said he regretted the inconvenience, but added that state police had determined that the holiday weekend was one of the slowest in September for gun sales. Doing it any later would have interfered with the fall deer seasons when gun sales shoot up, he said.

    Late last week, 26 gun dealers and a state lawmaker filed suit in Commonwealth Court seeking to block the upgrade, claiming it could be completed without shutting down the system or by doing the work after business hours.

    State police officials have made the counter-claim that the sportsmen aren't the only ones affected by the switch, and that they can't do the work without shutting down the current system.

    A court clerk said Monday that a hearing had not yet been scheduled in the case, which seeks an injunction halting the computer work.
    Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call




    Ah, still waiting for a decree from King Edward. Yet, the article still doesn't address: 1) why it takes so damn long to update the system and 2) why hunting is the only legitimate reason someone would buy a gun this weekend.

    Edited to take out the ads in the story...

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    Don't have a link, but just read in this morning's Morning Call that the freeze will now only be three days. It also mentioned in the story that the freeze could be shorter, but the "technicians" working on the transfer aren't working at night, as apparently it would cost too much. Sigh. This is sad.

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    As mentioned on another board.
    I wonder how long the PA Lottery systems are down at upgrade time???



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    ''I look at it like there's never a good time to install new countertops in your kitchen,'' he said. ''You're always going to need somewhere to eat breakfast.''


    Here's what's wrong with this analogy: Parents are still responsible for feeding their children regardless ofwhatever household maintenance projects are underway.Going somewhere else is indeed an option but PSP has no authority to lock up all the pantries.

    RepresentativeSam Rohrer suggests House Bill 1029 would provide some remedy and exempt individuals with a valid Pennsylvania right to carry permit from the cumbersome, expensive and redundant requirement of additional PICS checks each time they purchase a gun.According to Rohrer, not only do these repetitive background checks infringe upon personal freedom, but take away valuable time and resources from law enforcement agencies

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    ne1 wrote:
    ''I look at it like there's never a good time to install new countertops in your kitchen,'' he said. ''You're always going to need somewhere to eat breakfast.''


    Here's what's wrong with this analogy: Parents are still responsible for feeding their children regardless ofwhatever household maintenance projects are underway.Going somewhere else is indeed an option but PSP has no authority to lock up all the pantries.
    And the analogy would require those to be digital countertops, rather than analog ones. I'm thinking ones where you reprogram the material and it instantly changes into a new material. It would also require that there is a law that you have a right to eat breakfast every day without infringement on that right. Oh, and it would require that you have no say whatsoever in this replacement, as the state comes into your house and does it against your will.

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    Gun Sales shut down without local last-minute rush: Retailers suspend firearms transactions as state upgrades background check system.


    Tom Coombe, Matt Assad and Daniel Patrick SheehanThe Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.

    Released : Monday, September 03, 2007 4:00 AM

    Sep. 3--The shutdown of the state's criminal background check system had little -- if any -- impact on local gun sales Sunday.

    The system -- used by retailers to check out anyone buying a gun -- was scheduled to go off line from 6 p.m. Sunday evening until noon Wednesday for upgrades. But as the shutdown approached, many gun dealers had no one rushing in for last-minute purchases.

    "Most of my customers are regular customers," said Elmo Frey, Jr. owner of Jake's Gun Shop in Nazareth. "If they have to wait a couple of days, they'll wait. Give me a deposit, and I'll hold it."

    Frey was sitting behind his counter Sunday morning, waiting to close around noon. Many other local gun dealers weren't open at all on Sunday.

    By Wednesday, the state police hope to have made the upgrades to the 25-year-old Computerized Criminal History Record Information System. State and federal law requires anyone who wants to buy a gun to pass a background check. Police say the computer system must be shut down for a new one to go online, but gun dealers have criticized the state's timing.

    Gun dealers have lobbied to have the shutdown stopped because it would hurt their businesses, but a Commonwealth Court Judge rejected their request on Friday, ruling that they hadn't proved their claim of irrevocable financial harm. Groups that represent gun dealers have also suggested the state allow them to use the FBI's background check system, but the state police reject that idea, saying that it wouldn't allow them to add new criminal records to their system during the upgrade.

    The initial shutdown had been scheduled to run until Thursday, but the Rendell administration backed off that plan last week, and shortened the period by one day.

    As sales representative Chris Grainda stood behind the Dick's Sporting Goods gun counter in Bethlehem Township, he said anyone thinking there would be lines of people trying to beat the deadline was way off base.

    "No impact on us whatsoever," Grainda said just before 2 p.m. "We haven't had even one person come in today to buy a gun."

    Grainda said Dick's has been gearing up for the shutdown for weeks, and will simply put the gun on layaway for anyone who comes in over the next three days. The system changes will be well worth the wait, he said. The old system could only do instantaneous criminal checks for Pennsylvania, but if an applicant was flagged because of something from another state -- such as a minor non-violent crime or even military duty -- it often took days to sort out before they could purchase the gun.

    "Now we'll be part of the national system," Grainda said. "Everything is going to be faster. It's a good thing."

    Some stores saw customers prompted by the shutdown.

    "It's probably a little more than normal," John Snell of the Army Navy Store in Whitehall Township said of Sunday's gun-shopping business. He added that publicity over the gun-sale hiatus amounted to free advertising.

    "We're actually staying open until six because of [the shutdown]," said Dan Miller of A&A Sporting Goods in Tannersville.

    Unlike Frey's store in Nazareth, A&A gets a lot of one-time customers who are just passing through the Poconos, Miller said.

    "There's not a lot of people who say, 'I'll come back for something,' who actually come back," he said.

    Snell said his store can absorb the brief loss of gun sales because it offers clothing, shoes, camping equipment and plenty of other items to attract shoppers, but he complained that the state picked a bad time of year to interrupt the firearms trade, with hunting season approaching.

    "Ideally they should do it at the end of January, the beginning of February," Snell said. "That's the slowest time of year."

    Miller said he's concerned that the upgrade will take longer than just a few days. There's a big gun expo in Harrisburg scheduled for this weekend, and he worries about what will happen if dealers there can't run background checks on visitors.

    If that happens, "this weekend's going to be a wash for a lot of people," Miller said. "We depend on the state to be able to sell guns."



    http://www.macroworldinvestor.com/m/...p;id=269140341

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    "Gun dealers have lobbied to have the shutdown stopped because it would hurt their businesses, but a Commonwealth Court Judge rejected their request on Friday, ruling that they hadn't proved their claim of irrevocable financial harm."

    This case should be adjudicated as a civil rights issue and has nothing to do with "irrevocable financial harm."

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    ne1 wrote:
    "Gun dealers have lobbied to have the shutdown stopped because it would hurt their businesses, but a Commonwealth Court Judge rejected their request on Friday, ruling that they hadn't proved their claim of irrevocable financial harm."

    This case should be adjudicated as a civil rights issue and has nothing to do with "irrevocable financial harm."
    Oh no no no. Don't worry, be happy the NRA is on the case!

    Looks like this issue has gotten bumped up. Complaints abound from Pennsylvnia citizens and the NRA, as per usual, is in the mix, helping out.
    We don't want to bash a religion, now do we?

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    Maybe the next time they ban PA citizens from legally purchasing guns for several days, with the NRA's guidance, they'll make PICS work for small- and medium-caliber centerfire bolt-action rifles and 20-gauge OU shotguns to be purchased, since those are the only legitimate huntin' guns.



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