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Thread: 908 and knife law reform in 2011

  1. #1
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    Reposted from PAFOA
    http://forum.pafoa.org/pennsylvania-...ml#post1231553

    I'm sure everyone reading this knows that the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions state that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and shall not be questioned. Have you ever thought that "arms" covers a lot more than firearms? Usually that is where the debate is. But the well regulated colonial militia members owned, carried, and used knives, tomahawks, axes, dirks, daggers, and other weapons as a regular part of ensuring the security of a free state and in defense of themselves and the commonwealth.

    Many of you may be aware that New Hampshire recently repealed it's switchblade and knife laws

    http://forum.pafoa.org/news-123/1005...ml#post1214999 (Bearing arm more than just guns - Switchblade knives now legal in NH)

    http://www.kniferights.org/index.php...id=99&Itemid=1

    But did you know that, lost amid the immigration debate, Governor Brewer of Arizona signed the nations first knife preemption law?

    http://www.kniferights.org/index.php...d=100&Itemid=1

    Did you also know that you almost lost, at the federal level, the right to own and carry a number of ordinary non switchblade knives including spring assited, and one handed openning knives?

    http://www.kniferights.org/index.php...id=98&Itemid=1

    Lucky for you people stood up and stopped it. Here is the same battle we are facing with federal laws, and with the firearms freedom act in various states. Who will decide what is the best policy for each state? Will the federal government unilaterally impose a one size fits no one standard on all? Or will the several states decide what is good for themselves?

    Kim, Michael, Chris, and the others at FOAC have been doing incredible work to protect your right to own and carry a firearm. But they can only do so much. Like all of us, they have lives, and wives, and kids, and jobs. So we need to step up our game and take responsibility for getting stuff done to protect our rights against the constant attempts at intrusion.

    Right now they are busy pushing HB 40, HB 1088, and opposing HB 2536 which the anti's snuck in at the last minute.

    http://forum.pafoa.org/pennsylvania-...tml#post678015 (Castle Doctrine HB 40 in 09 does anyone REALLY want this passed? If so please read)

    http://forum.pafoa.org/pennsylvania-...ml#post1218261 (House Bill 2536 Offered)

    So we need to step up and take some of the load. Plans are already underway to address 908 in the 2011 legislative session. Research is being done, information is being compilled, and a sponsor is being courted. www.kniferights.org is on board to support our efforts as well. But there is a lot that still needs to be done. We anticipate that with the budget taking up the reps attention we have about 60 days to prepare our material for the initial meeting. That isn't as much time as it sounds like. If you want to help in this effort at this early stage here's what you can do now:

    Check on the laws, codes, regulations and ordinaces in your local municiality, city, county, borough, township, etc regarding the owning or carrying of knives or other non firearm weapons.

    Post those here and/or email them to me. PM me for my email if you need it. If you post them here please include links if they are online. Please also include the name of the municipality and county in which it is located.

    Repeat the process for all municipalities bordering yours. If you want to keep going beyond that, by all means go ahead. I'll try to put up a web page showing the knife laws by municipality, similar to the POC list, NOC list, and Sheriff letters pages.

    http://www.thecrimsonpirate.com/rtkba/poclist.html

    http://home.comcast.net/~2a.rights/L...CarryList.html

    http://www.thecrimsonpirate.com/rtkb...ffletters.html

    Obviously I'll have to add the municipalities other than counties as needed, but that gives you an idea of the format.

    Is a knife that you could open automatically useful in your profession of any of your hobbies? Would you like to have one consistent knife law that you could know and understand across Pennsylvania? Would you like to take that dagger or dirk or mace you bought at the ren faire over to your moms house to show all of your cousins on Thanksgiving and not have to worry about getting arrested for it? Well I've given you something you can do to help the effort and be part of winning back rights that have been infringed and questioned. Whether you do or not, we will be fighting for your rights.

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    Arizona has knife preemption.Oregon has it from judicial ruling. And Wyoming has preemption for all weapons. It's not known but their preemption law reads firearms and other weapons.



    This would be great for PA as they have horrible knife laws.

  3. #3
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    New Jersey also has preemption for their entire crimes code IIRC. Unfortunately the state does not respect rights so it's moot there. Hopefully we will be able to get some things accomplished in Pennsylvania, but it's difficult for one person to do it alone. The FOAC top guys have their hands full with the gun issues.

    I'm hip deep in this already and the more information I can have to present our case to the rep I'm hoping will sponsor this, the better our chances are. If I go in with "Um, it would be cool if........." we're not going to get any traction. If I go in with information demonstrating the harm this causes, and how it doesn't accomplish anything then we can get somewhere.

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    Jared wrote:


    This would be great for PA as they have horrible knife laws.
    Any links? Im not familiar with the knife laws in PA. I did a search but didnt come up with much.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    At the state level we have 18 PACS Section 908

    http://reference.pafoa.org/statutes/...nsive-weapons/


    18 Pa.C.S. § 908: Prohibited offensive weapons





    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive weapon.

    (b) Exceptions.--


    (1) It is a defense under this section for the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that he possessed or dealt with the weapon solely as a curio or in a dramatic performance, or that, with the exception of a bomb, grenade or incendiary device, he complied with the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.), or that he possessed it briefly in consequence of having found it or taken it from an aggressor, or under circumstances similarly negativing any intent or likelihood that the weapon would be used unlawfully.


    (2) This section does not apply to police forensic firearms experts or police forensic firearms laboratories. Also exempt from this section are forensic firearms experts or forensic firearms laboratories operating in the ordinary course of business and engaged in lawful operation who notify in writing, on an annual basis, the chief or head of any police force or police department of a city, and, elsewhere, the sheriff of a county in which they are located, of the possession, type and use of offensive weapons.


    (3) This section shall not apply to any person who makes, repairs, sells or otherwise deals in, uses or possesses any firearm for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

    (c) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:


    "Firearm." Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.


    "Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

    (d) Exemptions.--The use and possession of blackjacks by the following persons in the course of their duties are exempt from this section:


    (1) Police officers, as defined by and who meet the requirements of the act of June 18, 1974 (P.L. 359, No. 120), referred to as the Municipal Police Education and Training Law. [FN1]


    (2) Police officers of first class cities who have successfully completed training which is substantially equivalent to the program under the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.


    (3) Pennsylvania State Police officers.


    (4) Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs of the various counties who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.


    (5) Police officers employed by the Commonwealth who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.


    (6) Deputy sheriffs with adequate training as determined by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.


    (7) Liquor Control Board agents who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.


    But a bigger problem is lack of state preemption on knife laws. Every city, county, borough, township, or other municipality can enact it's own laws regarding anything but guns. Philly's laws, for example, can be read to generally prohibit any sharp object unless your doing a legitimatejob with it right now. If we get preemption then 908 will be the only law we have to attack on non firearm weapons.

    908 charges in the absence of other charges get dismissed or reversed on appealif whatever the person had is not specifically named in 908 and has any other "common lawful purpose". But the person has to spend time and money to fight commonwealth to the superior court or state supreme court level.

    908 cases involving another crime get dismissed or reversed on appeal because under PA law multiple charges get combined if they are an element of the same crime, so using a knife to rob someone, the knife is an integral part of that one criminal act, and not a seperate criminal act in itself. Commonwealth likes to run with these, but they get smacked back every time at the superior or state supreme court leve. Again it is time and money, but now it's everyone's (taxpayers) money to fight a fight they are going to lose to get another conviction (often with a suspended or concurrant sentence) on someone already in prison for a real crime.

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    18 Pa.C.S. 908is pretty strict!

    That is odd, though, as Firearm Laws throughout the Commonwealth are somewhat relaxed.

    Interestingly, one can not have any dealings with an Offensive Weapon while in Pennsylvania, and Local Governments are free to restrict this further.

    The solution, however, is quite simple. If it were me, and I was able to help, I would:

    1. Repeal 18 Pa.C.S. 908, and rewrite The Uniform Firearms Act to incorporate these so-called 'Offensive Weapons', and

    2. Make theUniform Firearms Actunder 6102, and6105 through 6120, include 'Offensive Weapons' to allow Open Carry of an 'Offensive Weapon' in much the same manner as would Firearms, and the prohibitions the same, as applicable to Firearms.

    3. Rename the Uniform Firearms Act to The Uniform Firearms and Weapons Act.

    ***For some reason or the other, People erroneously believe, and I think that they do so falsely, that The Second Amendment term 'Arms' means only 'Firearms', and does not include 'Weapons'. Personnally, I think our Fore-Fathers meant both meanings, and they never thought anyone would question it so, or else they would have spelled it out to make certain that there was no such confused interpretation of The Second Amendment.***



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