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Thread: Borough of West Mifflin PA Proposed Gun Ban at Its Meetings

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    UPDATE 14 DEC 08:

    CORRECTION: The correct date for the next West Mifflin Borough Council meeting at which citizens may attend to oppose proposed policies is Tuesday, December 16th.

    Apparently the target date for metal detector installation is on or before the **January** 20th Council Meeting.

    This provides time for gun owners around the Commonwealth to mobilize to attend this January 20th meeting and speak out against these privacy invading and unlawful gun control proposals.

    It also perhaps gives time for West Mifflin to cancel their order for the metal detector.

    ----

    Will anyone be around to attend this Dec. 20th meeting and perhaps make the metal detector go off??

    -----

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08346/934173-55.stm

    Metal detector to be installed at West Mifflin council chambers
    Thursday, December 11, 2008
    By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    In the new year, those who attend West Mifflin council meetings will have to pass through a metal detector to enter council chambers.

    West Mifflin council last month unanimously approved a motion authorizing borough Manager Howard Bednar to buy a metal detector and have it installed at one of the two entrances to council chambers. The other entrance will likely be locked, borough officials said.

    Mr. Bednar said he knew of no other suburban council in the area that requires people to pass through a metal detector to attend a meeting.

    "It's something that may get a lot of publicity," Mr. Bednar said.

    He said no incidents of violence have occurred at borough council meetings and that council is acting proactively on the matter.

    Council Vice President Arlene Jabbour said council has been talking about getting a metal detector for the past two years.

    "It just seems like it's time for us to do something because how the world is now, anything can happen," Mrs. Jabbour said. "Safety is first for council and residents who come here."

    Mr. Bednar said police Chief Joseph Popovich is checking with Allegheny County officials to learn the guidelines for using the metal detector in the County Courthouse.

    Mr. Bednar said xthe walk-through metal detector in West Mifflin will be portable and will be placed at the entrance to council chambers when meetings are held and removed when the meetings are over.

    The machine will be staffed by a borough police officer.

    Mr. Bednar said council has not yet decided if it also will purchase a metal-detecting wand in addition to the walk-through detector.

    A wand, he said, could be used by the officer for a further examination of a person who sets off the walk-through dectector's alarm.

    The borough manager expects council to make that decision at next week's meeting in addition to decisions about where the detector will be placed and what procedures will be followed in using it.

    The metal detector could be in place for the Jan. 20 council meeting, he said

    Mr. Bednar also said the school board could use the metal detector because the board meets in the same chambers.

    Mr. Bednar and Mrs. Jabbour said they expect some people who have artificial joints may set off the detector's alarm.

    "I have two knees that have been replaced," Mrs. Jabbour said. "I get beeped at airports all of the time and get pulled aside. I carry a card that explains everything."

    Mr. Bednar said people who have a permit to carry a gun still will be required to leave their weapons outside of council chambers.

    "We are not saying you cannot have a gun, but we are saying you can't have it in this assembly here. I think we do have the right to say this is our meeting and you cannot bring a gun in here," Mr. Bednar said.

    Mrs. Jabbour said council's decision to buy the metal detector has nothing to do with allegations that West Mifflin resident Diane Stanesic threatened Councilwoman Rhonda Popovich.

    In October, Glassport Magisterial District Judge Edward Burnett ordered Mrs. Stanesic to have no contact with Mrs. Popovich after the councilwoman filed harassment and terroristic threat charges against Ms. Stanesic.

    The judge told Mrs. Stanesic that she could continue to attend West Mifflin council meetings but could not address Mrs. Popovich directly.

    Mrs. Popovich said that Mrs. Stanesic left threatening phone messages at the Popovich home. The councilwoman said the messages were left after a council discussion about the police department and after a private council session in which Mrs. Stanesic was discussed as one of five candidates for a seat on the sewer authority.

    Mrs. Jabbour has also said she received a nasty phone call from Mrs. Stanesic.

    Mrs. Stanesic's attorney, Victor Pribanic, has said his client's phone calls were not harassment but were "legitimate communication."

    The legal case against Ms. Stanesic has been continued until Tuesday when Judge Burnett asked the parties involved to reconvene. In the meantime, police Chief Edward Popovich, Mrs. Popovich's husband, has been providing police escorts into and out of council meetings for his wife and Mrs. Jabbour.

    Mrs. Jabbour said Mrs. Stanesic continues to attend council meetings.

    Mary Niederberger can be reached at mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-851-1512.
    First published on December 11, 2008 at 12:00 am


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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!

    Damn I wish I were there...
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Nice quote by Borough Manager Howard Bednar, "We are not saying you cannot have a gun, but we are saying you can't have it in this assembly here. ..."

    Totally illegal on the borough's part. Would love to attend, but it's a two-hour drive from my house, and I don't get home until 7:00 p.m., meeting time.

    I do believe this calls for a pro se injunction filed with the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas, citing Section 6120(a) of the Uniform Firearms Act (prohibits local municipalities from prohibiting the carrying of firearms).

    Either they're not consulting with their Borough Solicitor, or their Borough Solicitor is unaware of state preemption on firearms.

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    Ok, we are mobilizing to address this now.

    1) Here is Mikes letter he sent to borough manager and the two newspapers
    __________________________________________________ _______

    Dear Mr. Bednar:

    I was shocked to read at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08346/934173-55.stm that you have advised Borough Council that they have the authority to ban gun carry at borough council meetings.

    The Borough most certainly does NOT have this authority as Section 6120 of the Uniform Firearms Act of Pennsylvania specifically states that "[n]o 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." 18 Pa.c.S Section 6120.

    In 1996 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in Ortiz v. Commonwealth that there are no implied home rule exceptions to 18 Pa.c.S Section 6120 given that the Pennsylvania Constitution commands that the right to bear arms "shall not be questioned." Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152 (1996), available at http://paopencarry.org/Ortiz-v-Commonwealth.

    I ask you to kindly inform the Borough Council that if the Borough wastes money on metal detectors that the Borough is still without authority to ban gun carry in the West Mifflin Municipal Building, it's council meetings, or that of the school board. Further, as, like most states, no permit is needed to open carry handguns in Pennsylvania, and therefore metal detectors will not even be useful to force gun owners to show "permits" unless they choose to conceal carry.

    The unlawful proposal to ban gun carry at the West Mifflin Municipal Building will attract the attention of gun owners across Pennsylvania and any such policy will be challenged. Any harassment or unlawful arrest of persons attempting to enter the West Mifflin Municipal Building while lawfully and peaceably carrying guns will most likely be met with swift legal action as is now ongoing in many states, including Dickson City, Allentown, and Lebanon. Such suits will be costly to West Mifflin taxpayers, and accordingly it would be most beneficial for you to look into correcting the record in this matter.

    Please let me know what you are going to do.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Stollenwerk
    co-founder, OpenCarry.org

    cc: Rich Banks, PAOpenCarry.org
    ____________________________________________

    I am in contact with them as well to advise them of our intent to make public comments at their Jan 20 meeting in regards to this violation of Title 18 and that if needed our intent to challenge this action legally if they do not immediately remedy this error.

    Supposedly they plan to have the metal detector installed by the regular Jan. 20 meeting and presumably figure out some policy to use it on-the-fly, so to say.
    We need people to attend this meeting to participate in public comment to make clear to borough council that this regulation of firearms on public property is unlawful per 18Pa.C.S.6120 and that gun owners are prepared to launch a legal stand against them which will be very costly for them and impossible to win. Open carry is specifically encouraged. No need to go through a metal detector if you are not hiding anything, right?
    This violation by West Mifflin affects all legal gun carriers, CC or OC. They seek to challenge you at the entrance and make issue of your legal firearms carry in front of everyone. Firearms carry that is clearly protected by state law against exactly this type of action by a borough.


    Again, this is tentative, we hope the borough solicitor corrects the error of his manager, but we need to organize a plan B.



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    Another article on the topic.

    Can you spot all the instances of FAIL in this?:
    West Mifflin Council OKs metal detectors at its chambers
    By Craig Smith
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    West Mifflin Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to install a metal detector at the entrance to its second-floor chambers at the borough building.

    "It's the world that we live in, unfortunately. Better to be safe than sorry," Councilwoman Rhonda Popovich said before the meeting.

    Council members said the idea to install the detector was not in response to any particular threat or incident. Everyone attending meetings, including council members, will be required to walk through the device, which is expected to cost about $3,600.

    story continues below


    "It's something we've been talking about," Popovich said. Cameras were installed in the room several months ago.

    Councilman Richard Olasz Sr., a former state representative, said the expenditure was not included in this year's budget.

    Metal detectors have been installed at some schools throughout the region and are used at courthouses and other government buildings.

    Metal detectors have been used at borough council meetings in the southeast part of the state, said Ed Troxell, director of government affairs at the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

    "It's not all that uncommon, but it's not a trend. It sounds like a little bit of forward thinking," he said.

    Most municipalities turn to police departments to keep order at meetings, said David Perruso, mayor of Wilson in Northampton County and president of the Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania.

    "When people have problems, they usually have a police officer there," he said.

    Craig Smith can be reached at csmith@tribweb.com or 412-380-5646.
    Back to headlines

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    WoW

    Check out the conversation about this on topix

    Seems the woman that they claim is the inspiration for these metal detectors is being dragged through the mud. I'd say damn near libel if half this stuff is true.

    http://www.topix.com/city/west-miffl...t-mifflin-case



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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    You just gotta love it when people go on the record about their plans to break the law. If only all criminals were as stupid.

    TFred


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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    Link to the building picture and a google map which you can find directions:
    http://www.westmifflinborough.com/ad...ger/index.html

    Picture of the municipal building:
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    Here are the email addresses of the council, manager, vp, and president.
    people who made the ridiculous comments are in bold.

    William F. Welsh
    President


    Arlene F. Jabbour
    Vice President



    Joseph B. Falce
    Councilman


    John T. Munsie
    Councilman


    Richard D. Olasz
    Councilman


    Rhonda Popovich
    Councilwoman


    Regis L. Stephenson
    Councilman



    Howard J. Bednar
    Borough Manager

    hbednar@westmifflinborough.com

    (verified)

    EDIT: addresses are not using common format in relation to how other users are set up under their email system.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    insane.kangaroo wrote:
    Here are the email addresses of the council, manager, vp, and president.
    people who made the ridiculous comments are in bold.

    William F. Welsh
    President
    wwelsh@westmifflinborough.com

    Arlene F. Jabbour
    Vice President

    ajabbour@westmifflinborough.com

    Joseph B. Falce
    Councilman
    jfalce@westmifflinborough.com

    John T. Munsie
    Councilman
    jmunsie@westmifflinborough.com

    Richard D. Olasz
    Councilman
    rolasz@westmifflinborough.com

    Rhonda Popovich
    Councilwoman
    rpopvich@westmifflinborough.com


    Regis L. Stephenson
    Councilman

    rstephenson@westmifflinborough.com

    Howard J. Bednar
    Borough Manager

    hbednar@westmifflinborough.com
    Where did you get these? They all just bounced on me.

  11. #11
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    second, I didn't see them bounce so I assumed they sent. Let me make another attempt.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    Topix discussion on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article:
    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/mcke...M7NJ4D5MU6HDH6

    Go get 'em

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    UPDATE 14 DEC 08:

    CORRECTION: The correct date for the next West Mifflin Borough Council meeting at which citizens may attend to oppose proposed policies is Tuesday, December 16th.

    Apparently the target date for metal detector installation is on or before the **January** 20th Council Meeting.

    This provides time for gun owners around the Commonwealth to mobilize to attend this January 20th meeting and speak out against these privacy invading and unlawful gun control proposals.

    It also perhaps gives time for West Mifflin to cancel their order for the metal detector.

  14. #14
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    If I were a betting man, my guess is that they will still buy the metal detector, and when legally carrying citizens set it off, they will be singled out for additional search (there must be something they can ban that would set off a detector) and harassed or intimidated to just below what they think would be illegal.

    I don't know if there is any law against making a citizen walk through and set off a metal detector, and just the attention that they will be prepared to pour on those citizens will intimidate some into not carrying.

    These folks are obviously prepared to violate the spirit of the law, even if their legal counsel advises them not to violate the letter.

    JMHO,

    TFred


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    TFred wrote
    If I were a betting man, my guess is that they will still buy the metal detector, and when legally carrying citizens set it off, they will be singled out for additional search (there must be something they can ban that would set off a detector) and harassed or intimidated to just below what they think would be illegal.
    ___________________________________
    Ten or so years ago when I was an OTR truck driver, one of my regular pickup location was a Circuit City distribution center in Livermore Ca. Everybody had to go through a metal detector. It may or my not have been real because it went off every time some one went through. Since I had to get the load paperwork there I had plenty of time to study it. It had a IF light beam about 30 inches off the floor that sounded an alarm every time someone went through so every one got wanded whether they had any metal on them or not.

    Perhaps if you would use a real computer you wouldn't have to apologize for not being able to do so many things on the internet!

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    Levis 501 Jeans, and Western shirts by WRANGLER (THE BLUE DENHAM ONES) will set the metal detectors off almost every time, also and boots with "NAILED ON SOLES and HEELS! I'm a cowboy and this always gets me "pulled over!!

    Also a belt, and the good ink pens in the pocket and of course a magnetic money clip.

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    I can make the meeting, the least i can do, anyone care to join me send me a pm and we will arrange the time to meet. Mtn Jack

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    Mike wrote:

    "I think we do have the right to say this is our meeting and you cannot bring a gun in here," Mr. Bednar said.
    Wow, it's "our" meeting. I thought that local gov't council meetings belonged to the citizens of that community. At least, here in America, thats how they work. I can't comment on how things are done in the Peoples Republik of West Mifflin.

  19. #19
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    Lol -- I just got called a "redneck" by someone who says council can ban firearms because the "county" does


    critical of this forum wrote:
    As a member of WM council I take offense to some of the comments in addition there is a world of issues in this borough and such childish forums like this one gives a a bad taste in their mouth. Facts are facts


    Pa Open Carry dot Org wrote:
    Since you are a member of council, what are you going to do about this unlawful motion to ban firearms at council meetings and the resultant worthless metal detector purchased?

    So far we are still waiting for an answer...

    I guess we'll find out on Jan 20th.
    Don't worry, we'll bring the media with us




    golden ruler wrote:
    I say "bring it on ,Redneck !"

    golden ruler wrote:
    http://media.http://www.webujournal.com/media/storag...
    Here's a link that prove that metal detoctors are still being used in the counrty and more tend to lean that way. Yeah. I know a sick society. Ever since 9/11 the world is jumpy.I have nothing to hide ,I agree on the detectors. Better safe than sorry
    Pa Open Carry dot Org wrote:
    ** Wrong.

    If you did any research you would know that metal detectors are used at courthouses because STATE LAW prohibits carrying firearms inside "court facilities".
    Ref: 18PaCS913
    http://paopencarry.org/pa-firearm-law-ss913

    Again, 18PaCS6120 prohibits borough council from prohibiting firearms carry at borough council meetings. Sorry for your loss.

    Heh - they have no idea...

  20. #20
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    Heh - they have no idea...
    Well, be nice... it's a hard pill to swallow when you first start to realize your little world does not really revolve around you... As with all 5 year olds, there are bound to be tantrums.



    TFred


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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Invite them to come see how it really works.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

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    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Latest snip from the topix grapevine...

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/mcke...MU6HDH6/post26
    Last I heard the council and the borough attorney says the detector will go up. They will challenge the law,these cases take years to resolve. By that time the laws will be in favor of the metal detectors being installed. Plus you gun owners ( I have respect for your rights) cant say anything at the meeting,it's west mifflin business ONLY! you'll be called out of order,not because you have carry,but because you will be ejected from the building from speaking or shouting that doesnt involve west mifflin agendas.
    Dont get me wrong ,hope a ton of you guys show up at the Jan 20th meeting. the more the merrier ,just let KDKA,WTAE,and WPXI news trucks be in the parking lot,and have all 3 newspaper reporters there too.. Daily News in McKeesport,Post Gazette in Pittsburgh,and the Tribune Review in Pittsburgh.

  23. #23
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    Latest snip from the topix grapevine...

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/mcke...MU6HDH6/post26
    Last I heard the council and the borough attorney says the detector will go up. They will challenge the law,these cases take years to resolve. By that time the laws will be in favor of the metal detectors being installed. Plus you gun owners ( I have respect for your rights) cant say anything at the meeting,it's west mifflin business ONLY! you'll be called out of order,not because you have carry,but because you will be ejected from the building from speaking or shouting that doesnt involve west mifflin agendas.
    Dont get me wrong ,hope a ton of you guys show up at the Jan 20th meeting. the more the merrier ,just let KDKA,WTAE,and WPXI news trucks be in the parking lot,and have all 3 newspaper reporters there too.. Daily News in McKeesport,Post Gazette in Pittsburgh,and the Tribune Review in Pittsburgh.
    Huh!? Because people who carry guns can't control themselves from speaking out of turn? Good strategy!

    TFred


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    Why don't the just violate some more laws and have their meetings in secret, behind closed doors...? They're so obviously corrupt what's the sense of trying to hide it now?



  25. #25
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    Okay, how about someone put on the agenda the ordinance regarding the metal detectors and attempted official oppression?
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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