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Thread: Lancaster County, PA Commissioners ponder enacting illegal gun ban in parks!

  1. #1
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    Th County Attorney apparently does not understand that localities are preempted from enacting ANY firearms rules. Open carry at 18 is legal in PA on foot, no permit required.

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    http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/216976

    County commissioners discussed a new set of park rules today that includes a ban on swimming but allows wading at your own risk.





    Dennis Stuckey


    But after an hour of discussion, they decided to postpone a final vote on the rules until they can clarify how a ban on firearms would apply to people with concealed weapons permits.

    If you thought these rules had already been approved, you're sorta right.

    This morning's commissioners agenda was mostly a rerun of a meeting held two hours later than scheduled last Wednesday due to wintry weather.

    That schedule change had Ron Harper Jr. accusing commissioners of violating the Sunshine Act for the last-minute switch.

    Harper was especially outraged because he missed most of last week's meeting — including the review and adoption of revised park rules — after Commissioner Chairman Dennis Stuckey mistakenly told him and several others the meeting had been canceled.

    While Stuckey had apologetically defended the decision to go ahead with the meeting last week, he said commissioners eventually decided Harper was right.

    "In response to Mr. Harper's raising the issue, we went back and took a look at it and thought it was the best way to handle it," Stuckey said Tuesday.

    "(Harper) did properly raise an objection to it and we need to make that right. We need to remedy that and we're glad to do that," Stuckey added.

    At the beginning of today's meeting, Stuckey presented Harper with a pie, calling it a "humble pie" that represented the commissioners' contrition about going ahead with last week's meeting.

    "You were right and we were wrong," Stuckey told Harper.

    Harper was gracious in reply, complimenting commissioners on admitting they were wrong and apologizing about holding last week's meeting.

    "I want to publicly say that I really appreciate your humble attitude," Harper said.

    Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, said during a phone interview Tuesday that the commissioners did the right thing.

    "I think it speaks very positively to their willingness to discuss business in the open," she said.

    While Harper began today's meeting with kind words for the board, during the next hour he repeatedly chastised them for the rules that they seemed ready to adopt.

    Among Harper's objections to the proposed park rules was a prohibition on weapons, which he complained would violate the rights of people with concealed weapons permits.

    Commissioner Scott Martin eventually sided with Harper on the firearms restriction, calling for a vote on the long-discussed rules to be postponed until next week.

    As now proposed, the new park rules would ban swimming in creeks, rivers and ponds in Lancaster County parks, but allow wading up to the knee. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult while wading.

    The changes cover the county's six parks and two rail-trails, including Central, D.F. Buchmiller and Chickies Rock parks, as well as Conewago and Lancaster Junction rail-trails.

    Other changes to park rules include a new prohibition on golfing, throwing rocks off cliffs and shooting paintballs. Dog and cat owners are now required to clean up after their animals, but horse riders don't have to.

    Early last week, commissioners said they favored dropping the ban on swimming entirely and advising parkgoers to "swim at your own risk." Children under 13 years old would have required adult supervision.

    That rule would have mirrored what was understood to be an "open swim" policy employed at many state parks.

    However, Commissioner Craig Lehman subsequently said his review of state rules revealed that "open swim" at state parks applied only in designated swimming areas.

    Since the county doesn't have any designated swimming areas in its parks, Lehman suggested banning swimming, but allowing wading.

    CONTACT US: cumble@LNPnews.com or 481-6031

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    So why doesn't someone e-mail cumble@LNPnews.com and let them know as well as go in front of the board?

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    yankees98a wrote:
    So why doesn't someone e-mail cumble@LNPnews.com and let them know as well as go in front of the board?
    The Lancaster New Era is writing a story on this right now and has all the facts. I called the Board of Commissioners and was told their staff attonrey would call me back - no call received

    Looks like we may need to organize some folks to attend their meeting next Wednesday.

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    What does haviing or not having a License to Carry Firearms have to do with anything?
    18 Pa. C.S. §6120. Limitation on the Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition.

    (a) General rule. No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammuni­tion components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this commonwealth.
    [/b]


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    The gun ban was "shot down". They finally got around to reading the UFA.

    http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/217107

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