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Thread: Public Meeting Tonight in Allentown, PA - open carriers, are you comin'?

  1. #1
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    Sheesh, even the DA has told this City Council they can't pass thi slaw!

    Anybody going? Organize here to attend!

    GUN VOTE IN ALLENTOWN

    WHAT: City Council is expected to hold a committee hearing, followed by a possible vote, on an ordinance that would require the reporting of a lost or stolen gun.

    WHEN: Committee meeting begins at 6 p.m Wednesday. The council meeting follows at 7:30 p.m.

    WHERE: City Council chambers, 435 Hamilton St.


    --

    http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-...,7760728.story

    DA, Pawlowski duel over city gun law
    Martin urges police chief not to enforce if passed.
    By Jarrett Renshaw | Of The Morning Call
    September 30, 2008

    Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin is urging Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski to withdraw a proposed ordinance requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen guns, calling it unconstitutional and unenforceable.

    If the legislation passes Wednesday, when it's scheduled for a vote, Martin pledged to instruct Allentown Police Chief Roger MacLean not make arrests under the ordinance, according to a letter he wrote to city solicitor Jerry Snyder on Monday.

    Any officer who makes an arrest under the ordinance could face obstruction of justice charges, Martin said in an interview Monday.

    ''The issue is clear,'' Martin said. ''When it comes to gun-control legislation, any city ordinance is preempted by state law and that makes any Allentown law unenforceable.''



    Martin's public opposition to the measure sets the stage for a likely battle with the mayor, who pledged Monday to continue with the proposal, despite the objections from the county's highest-ranking law enforcement official.

    ''Mr. Martin and the city law department have a different point of view and we anticipate that the issue will be resolved at the state Supreme Court,'' Pawlowski said, referring to ongoing litigation arising out of Philadelphia's bid to regulate firearms.

    ''The state law involves the legal use of firearms; what we are talking about is the illegal use,'' Pawlowski said. ''Though we appreciate Mr. Martin's opinion, we are are just trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.''

    Pawlowski joined with seven other state mayors -- including Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. and Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan -- earlier this month in Reading to announce they were introducing the lost or stolen gun measure in their home cities, arguing they were forced to take the action because of lack of activity in Harrisburg.

    The ordinance would require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns within 72 hours or face fines up to $1,000 and possibly up to 90 days in jail. Among other things, the law is aimed at cracking down on straw purchases, where someone purchases guns legally and sells them on the underground market.

    The mayors acknowledged that the state has the authority to regulate guns, but insist state statutes don't apply once the gun is separated from its legal owner. Also, the crime would be a summary offense, like a code violation, keeping it out of state court unless it's appealed.

    In interviews last week, City Councilmen Michael D'Amore, Julio Guridy and Pete Schweyer all described the ordinance as a ''no-brainer'' and suggested that it was likely to pass without much opposition -- though it's unclear whether Martin's opposition will sway council.

    ''A lot of crimes are committed with guns that are stolen, so it seems like common sense to me,'' Guridy said.

    Schweyer took offense Monday to what he sees as Martin injecting himself into matters of local significance.

    ''I don't understand how Mr. Martin can tell police what to do,'' Schweyer said. ''Last time I checked, Martin is not the mayor of Allentown. He doesn't even live in Allentown.''

    Martin said the state's district attorneys have a legal responsibility to protect citizens from laws that are unconstitutional. ''I am the chief law enforcement official in the county -- trust me, I have the authority,'' he said.

    Martin's letter follows a Commonwealth Court ruling Friday that said Philadelphia was not entitled to set its own gun laws, including an ordinance passed last year that required the reporting of lost or stolen guns.

    ''It is…clear to me that any attempt by the city of Allentown to regulate firearms in the fashion proposed would meet the same fate, i.e. the courts will find such ordinance to be unconstitutional and unenforceable because of state preemption,'' Martin wrote.

    The Commonwealth Court judges concurred with a long line of opinions making clear the state -- not municipalities -- have the power to regulate guns.

    However, Philadelphia's ordinances were different from Allentown's. They required state approval to take effect. They never got it, and the Commonwealth Court rejected them.

    Philadelphia later passed an ordinance like Allentown's, but the measure's being challenged in Commonwealth Court by the National Rifle Association.

    GUN VOTE IN ALLENTOWN

    WHAT: City Council is expected to hold a committee hearing, followed by a possible vote, on an ordinance that would require the reporting of a lost or stolen gun.

    WHEN: Committee meeting begins at 6 p.m Wednesday. The council meeting follows at 7:30 p.m.

    WHERE: City Council chambers, 435 Hamilton St.

    jarrett.renshaw@mcall.com

    610-820-6539

  2. #2
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    How exactly does he plan to enforce this law, even if it passes? How can he prove a citizen failed to comply?

    This screams of feel-good "Doing Something about Crime" pandering.

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    Mike wrote:
    ''The state law involves the legal use of firearms; what we are talking about is the illegal use,'' Pawlowski said. ''Though we appreciate Mr. Martin's opinion, we are are just trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.''
    Huh? Talk about Alice In Wonderland logic. The loss of a gun is not a crime under state law, nor is failure to "report" its loss, whatever than means. I wonder what the Allentown City Nannies would say if someone pointed out to them that nobody needs to keep a record of their private sales of guns, and nobody can be made to testify against themselves if accused of an unlawful transfer?

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    Mike wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    ''The state law involves the legal use of firearms; what we are talking about is the illegal use,'' Pawlowski said. ''Though we appreciate Mr. Martin's opinion, we are are just trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.''
    Huh? Talk about Alice In Wonderland logic. The loss of a gun is not a crime under state law, nor is failure to "report" its loss, whatever than means. I wonder what the Allentown City Nannies would say if someone pointed out to them that nobody needs to keep a record of their private sales of guns, and nobody can be made to testify against themselves if accused of an unlawful transfer?
    OK, I can see where this part stinks..

    The ordinance would require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns within 72 hours or face fines up to $1,000 and possibly up to 90 days in jail. Among other things, the law is aimed at cracking down on straw purchases, where someone purchases guns legally and sells them on the underground market.


    But I don't see where one would be totally against reporting a stolen firearm that was originally obtained, maintained, and usedlegally by a law abiding citizen, in an effort to cover your ass in the event that a gun recorded as owned by myself, I would want the law enforcement community to be aware that such and such a firearm has been removed from my possession without my permission , and may be in the hands of someone who has ill intent..

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    Carnivore wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    ''The state law involves the legal use of firearms; what we are talking about is the illegal use,'' Pawlowski said. ''Though we appreciate Mr. Martin's opinion, we are are just trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.''
    Huh? Talk about Alice In Wonderland logic. The loss of a gun is not a crime under state law, nor is failure to "report" its loss, whatever than means. I wonder what the Allentown City Nannies would say if someone pointed out to them that nobody needs to keep a record of their private sales of guns, and nobody can be made to testify against themselves if accused of an unlawful transfer?
    OK, I can see where this part stinks..

    The ordinance would require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns within 72 hours or face fines up to $1,000 and possibly up to 90 days in jail. Among other things, the law is aimed at cracking down on straw purchases, where someone purchases guns legally and sells them on the underground market.


    But I don't see where one would be totally against reporting a stolen firearm that was originally obtained, maintained, and usedlegally by a law abiding citizen, in an effort to cover your ass in the event that a gun recorded as owned by myself, I would want the law enforcement community to be aware that such and such a firearm has been removed from my possession without my permission , and may be in the hands of someone who has ill intent..
    It has nothing to do with whether or not you feel that reporting a firearm as having been stolen is the right thing to do or not, it has to do with the fact that they are trying to make it a crime if you DO NOT report it.

    It is an unenforcable law, for feel good purposes only.

    I personally will rush to report a firearm stolen to protect myself from possible future blowback if that firearm is used in a crime, but how can the city make it a crime for me not to report that a crime has taken place against me?

    Be careful out there!

    Paul



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    Regular Member demnogis's Avatar
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    If this law passes, does it mean that OCers can report their firearm stolen if illegally taken by a LEO?

    Or press charges under obstruction of justice for enforcing pre-empted ordinances?
    Gun control isn't about guns -- it is about control.

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    demnogis wrote:
    If this law passes, does it mean that OCers can report their firearm stolen if illegally taken by a LEO?

    Or press charges under obstruction of justice for enforcing pre-empted ordinances?
    Thats probably not a bad Idea, since lots of things that go into an evidence room never make it back out, or atleast to the rightful owner..

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    Didn't this get thrown out all ready when they tried to do it in Philadelphia? Why does Allentown think it will be ok for them and not for Philly?

    Personally I would report my firearm stolen even though its not the LAW that I have to for the same reason dyver said, I want it on record that its not in my possession in case its used in a crime later. Also, depending on where and when it gets stolen I can get some insurance money to replace it.

    But thats a personal decision...the fact that the gubment wants to tell me how to live is bull.

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    Did I miss it?

    Is it this Wed - Oct 8th? 6pm...

    I will OC to the meeting... who else is going?

    Dang! I did miss it - Oct 1st...

    Ill be there for the next one...



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    Not that I disagree, but how does pre-emption cover this? Local municipalities can inact ordinances on the discharge of a firearm can't they? How does fining you for not reporting it stolen violate pre-emption?



    I agree that it will do nothing to stop crime.

    I agree that it is a feel good law for people that know nothing.

    I agree that this law should be struck down, I am just wondering how it can be based on pre-emption?

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