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Thread: JUNE 9, 2009 Lancaster PA City Council Meeting TONIGHT

  1. #1
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    Come show your support against the straw gun purchases ordinance that Rick Gray is attempting to pass tonight.


    Lancaster City PA
    City Council Chambers
    Vine and Prince Streets (behind the Newspaper building - - marked outside the building 'CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS' on hanging sign)
    7:30pm - 9:00pm




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    I'm not sure what this proposed ordinance consists of, but since the "straw purchase" of firearmsis already covered under federal law, it sounds superfluous.

    -ljp

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    Yeah!

    All of our localities are trying to pass these... it'll be used for harrassment of lawful gun owners who are theft victims, and they'll be paid by fining people. They can't seem to enforce the laws we do have, so what the heck.

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    I see. Bad enough when someone rips off your stuff. You'll now have to prove you didn't sell it off to MS-13 or whoever. Lovely.

    -ljp

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    I think the idea of reporting the theft of guns quickly is a good. Indisputably good.

    Of course, the question is: How do weget this done?

    Not by an unconstitutional law/ordinance. That won't work.

    What I can't figure out is why any law abiding gun ownerwould not report a gun theft ASAP.Are there such people?

    The idea seems like a no-brainer. It has to have reasonable provisions, to be sure. But a state law like that wouldn't bother me. Heck, I'd want to have a chance at getting my guns back if they were ever stolen.

    72 hours seems kind of short. Maybe not...





    Gun-theft law passed by Council
    Police must be told if firearms stolen


    Intelligencer Journal
    Published: Jun 10, 2009
    Lancaster


    Gun owners living in Lancaster city now have 72 hours to tell police if they discover their firearms have been stolen, or they could be sent to prison.

    Mayor Rick Gray said the law, unanimously passed Tuesday by City Council, does not regulate a person's right to own firearms, but simply asks gun owners to "advise us when a gun has been lost or stolen."

    It also is aimed at cracking down on so-called "straw" sales, when a person buys a firearm legally and sells it to someone not allowed to legally own a gun.

    "The reason this is being passed is to eliminate the excuse for the person who buys the gun legally, and then sells it illegally," Gray said.

    Gray said he has heard concerns that people whose guns may be stolen while they are away and do not know about the theft, will be in violation. That, he said, is not true.

    "If you're away and your gun is stolen and you don't know it, you won't be prosecuted under this," Gray said.

    Violation of the law carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

    During the meeting, Pastor Kevin Brown of Ray's Temple Church of God and a group of children from the church spoke in favor of the bill.

    Citing data collected by Brown, the children — Jonathan Millan, Deshaun Brown, Victorsha Thomas and India Folk — said 30,806 Americans were killed by guns in 2006, of which 44 percent were people under age 25.

    After the unanimous vote, Brown said, "Handguns and the illegal use of guns has been responsible for an exorbitant amount of crime and of young people being killed in the community. The media is full of incidents where guns are involved and people have lost their lives, especially youths. So we thought that, since our city was considering passing this legislation to make gun owners more accountable, it was important for our young people to speak."

    Joe Grace, executive director of the Philadelphia-based CeaseFirePa, commended Council for its action, calling it "another step forward for sanity in terms of a simple handgun safety reform."

    "This is not about the lawful possession of a gun," Grace said. "This is about reporting a stolen gun to the police. It's a simple question of responsibility."

    Grace said 13 police officers have been shot and killed in Pennsylvania in the last four years by criminals using illegal guns, with the most recent being state Trooper Joshua Miller, who died in a gun fight near Easton on Sunday.

    Lisa Armellino spoke against the bill, saying it violates the state's laws on gun registration and ownership. She also worried that "many law-abiding gun owners, if they are victims of theft, will be forced to prove their innocence."

    Matt Holden, a Republican candidate for City Council, said the law is "well intentioned" but that Council "is acting outside of the authority that's granted to them."

    "We're excited to see movement toward limiting or decreasing or even eliminating gun violence in the city," Holden said. "But just because we have an idea doesn't mean we're allowed to do it."

    With passage of the new bill, Lancaster becomes the eighth Pennsylvania municipality to enact the law. The others are Allentown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Pottsville, Harrisburg, and most recently, Wilkensburg.

    The law has been challenged in Commonwealth Court in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh by the National Rifle Association or individuals supported by the NRA.

    At issue is whether ordinances enacted at local levels preempt — or supersede — state gun laws. The state law includes a pre-emption clause prohibiting local governments from creating their own gun laws.

    Last September, a state court rejected a claim by Philadelphia City Council that gun-control measures it passed in 2007 were not pre-empted by the state Uniform Firearms Act.

    Gray said if the city is sued, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., will provide free legal counsel.

    http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/238651


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    Legba wrote:
    You'll now have to prove you didn't sell it off to MS-13 or whoever. Lovely. -ljp
    Worse. Each step in the chain of ownership 'custody' will have to be established, documented and defended at the first knowledge by the tyrant Leviathan of a broken link in the chain. It is de facto registration with the owners required to prove that they were, ex post facto, legally eligible to possess a gun.

    The indisputable troll is wrong again.

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    I spoke about about the bill, had my girlfriend record it.
    The man sitting closest to the video camera right there was the ONLY other person against this bill that even showed up. It was disappointing... I had a sentence near the end of my speech to ask all people in the room against the bill to stand up, but there was CLEARLY no one there - so I didn't say it. A church brought their youth group to speak out against it (and they were all lined up behind me) and then the CeaseFirePA guy spoke last basically saying "Look, it doesn't actually violate anything and we need this now, and the Brady group will be funding all of your litigation, so just pass it"

    At least it got said and documented:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCmKGoJYI-M

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    This law will be challenged in commonwealth court. There is already case prescedent that will come into play in striking down this Lancaster Law. Perhaps, before appeal, someone will have to be actually arrested for the violation in question. If the Lancaster County DistrictAttorney hasmore than a half brain, he , like the Philadelphia District Attorney has already announced, will not enforce the law. If challenged, it will be yet another failure for the pathetic Brady Organization.

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    Citing data collected by Brown, the children — Jonathan Millan, Deshaun Brown, Victorsha Thomas and India Folk — said 30,806 Americans were killed by guns in 2006, of which 44 percent were people under age 25.
    I don't supose anyone asked Mr Brown where he got his stats? I suspect the numbers they presented are padded.

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    I'm almost positive they were from the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group - - who, by the way, were there.

    After the meeting I had 2 questions for Mayor Gray:
    #1 What poll did he refer to in October when he said that 94% of gun owners in the Commonwealth supported a law like this.
    #2 Please prove that this ordinance does NOT violate the PA Constitution and the UFA at 6114.4.

    The Mayors secretary referred me to the lobbyist there from the Mayors Against Illegal Guns - - saying all of the facts and figures are collected by that group, and they can answer all of my questions. Well I met the guy (actually a young kid, maybe my age or maybe 32 or so) and he gave me his business card and said "Oh, I can help you with that. Just e-mail me." And now 2 e-mails later, I haven't even heard peep back.

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    I'm almost positive they were from the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group - - who, by the way, were there.

    After the meeting I had 2 questions for Mayor Gray:
    #1 What poll did he refer to in October when he said that 94% of gun owners in the Commonwealth supported a law like this.
    #2 Please prove that this ordinance does NOT violate the PA Constitution and the UFA at 6114.4.

    The Mayors secretary referred me to the lobbyist there from the Mayors Against Illegal Guns - - saying all of the facts and figures are collected by that group, and they can answer all of my questions. Well I met the guy (actually a young kid, maybe my age or maybe 32 or so) and he gave me his business card and said "Oh, I can help you with that. Just e-mail me." And now 2 e-mails later, I haven't even heard peep back.

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    The reported numbers may be approximately accurate, but "death by firearms" includes suicides, which consistently account for about 2/3 of these cases, as well as accidents/negligence. Wanting to die is a very different thing from someone being murdered, or akid catching a stray bullet in a shootout, say, and they do deliberately confuse the two. I don't know about the age breakdown, or how it might be relevant.

    -ljp

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    I looked at the FBI figures and they listed 17,000+ murders/non-negignet homocides for 2006. That number includes all deaths regardless of how they were killed. IIRC the FBI site estimated that a small percentage of this number was death by firearms.

    So that means the anti-gun group had to include accidental deaths, justifiable homocides (criminal killed by LEO or LAC while committing a crime), and suicides as well. Like I said, they padded the numbers.

    I'll see if I can dig up some stats that break this down better.

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