Falls Township Rifle and Pistol Association

354 Newbold Road, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania

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Category: Legislative

Legislative Alert

Federal

Under the guise of banning the “bump stocks” used in the Las Vegas shooting, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers, including the local Congressmen Dent, Costello, and Meehan, have introduced a bill that would “any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.” NRA is opposing this bill, as it would ban installing a match grade trigger into a semi-automatic rifle since that technically affects the rate of fire, even if that is not its purpose. It would also potentially ban installing a different bolt carrier or buffer spring, since those parts may also increase the rate of fire incidentally. There are many common modifications that can be done to a semi-automatic rifle that this poorly thought out bill would ban. Our local representative, Brian Fitzpatrick has not signed on as a cosponsor of this bill, which is encouraging. Members are encouraged to call or write Mr. Fitzpatrick and encourage him to oppose H.R.3999.

Middletown Township

At the last meeting of the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors, held on October 2nd, 2017, two members of the five member Board, Mr. Tom Tosti and Ms. Amy Strouse, expressed interest in the Board lobbying our state lawmakers to bring New Jersey and California style gun control laws to Pennsylvania. Both members repeatedly praised the gun laws of both states as a model for us here in Pennsylvania, especially their bans on politically incorrect semi-automatic rifles. Fortunately, the other three members of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Tom Gallagher, Mr. William Oettinger, and Mr. H. George Leonhauser, voted against the motion, causing it to fail. We have no desire, as a club, to see our local townships involved in the gun control debate. We are asking two things of club members:

  1. Please get out to vote on Tuesday November 7th. If you are a resident of Middletown Township, Supervisor candidate Kevin Glasson has expressed opposition to the Board of Supervisors involving themselves in gun control. It is very important that we do not elect more supervisors like Mr. Tosti and Mr. Strouse.
  2. Please plan to show up to the Middletown Township Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Monday November 20th at 7:30PM for the next Board of Supervisors meeting. The Middletown Township building is located at 3 Municipal Way, Langhorne, PA 19047. If you come, please wear something indicating you’re a club member or NRA member. If you’re a township resident, and you’d like to speak, we’ll get people lined up for the public comment period. But you do not have to speak. Just showing up will make an impression.

We had a very successful showing when a few Lower Makefield supervisors started talking gun control a few years back. Our presence helped convince then to table their resolution, so hopefully we can also have a good turnout here.

SHARE Act Up for Vote As Early as This Week

Attention members:

A vote on H.R. 3668, the Share Act, which we discussed in our June legislative report, could happen as early as this week.

I would strongly encourage members to contact Representative Brian Fitzpatrick or whoever your local representative may be and ask that he support the SHARE Act.

June 2017 Legislative Report

National

The SHARE Act

 The Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a sportsman’s omnibus bill, has been introduced into Congress, and is expected to move. The SHARE Act has absorbed many provisions from previous versions of the bill

  • Eliminates the “sporting purposes” language from the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the law on armor piercing ammunition. Hostile Administrations have used this language to limit importation of firearms and also to erroneously reclassify common ammunition as “armor piercing” and thus “not suited for sporting purposes” and restricted from importation and sale.
  • Creates a blanket exception in the law for shotguns to prevent arbitrary reclassification as destructive devices. Shotguns are only classified as ordinary firearms because of long-standing policy by the Attorney General of exempting them from classification as destructive devices. Hostile administrations in the past have altered or threatened to alter this exception to ban certain semi-automatic shotguns.
  • Moves silencers/suppressors from Title II to Title I, which removes them from classification as an NFA items and instead regulates them the same as ordinary firearms.
  • Limited preemption on states against regulating suppressors.
  • Stops regulation of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
  • Enhances the FOPA language to include travel by means other than vehicles.
  • Creates remedies against states that violate the safe travel provisions, including a cause of action and attorney’s fees.
  • Numerous provisions to preserve hunting and fishing for future generations.

This is a pretty substantial bill, and contains a number of provision gun rights proponents have spent years fighting for. Please call your federal lawmakers and urge them to support the SHARE Act.

June 2016 Legislative Report

 

National

Senator Durbin (D-IL) Blocks Bill to Restore Rights to Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported hundreds of thousands of veterans to NICS and prohibited them from possessing firearms if they had an appointed “fiduciary” to manage their benefits. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced an amendment to a Veterans Affairs Appropriation Bill that would have prevented the VA from reporting veterans without an adjudication that included a finding of dangerousness. Unfortunately, that amendment was blocked from being considered by Senator Durbin.

Social Security Rule Finalized

After President Obama issued executive orders on gun control, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began investigating the Department of Veterans Affairs program of NICS reporting as a potential model for the SSA. If implemented, anyone collecting Social Security using “designated payee” to manage that person’s finances would be put in the NICS system and prohibited from possessing firearms. The SSA has issued the final rule, and we’re fortunate it is not as bad as what was first proposed (but still bad). Under the final rule, the following all of the things below would have to be true before a person would be entered into NICS and prohibited from possessing firearms:

  • Has a designated payee who manages his or her finances.
  • Is a beneficiary disability payments, and not a retiree.
  • Filed for Social Security Disability under a mental health code.
  • Has attained the age of 18 (children automatically have a designated payee).

NRA has concerns because many mental health codes used by SSA don’t necessarily include a finding of dangerousness. Examples they used were “Sleep or Appetite Disturbance,” “Decreased Energy,” and “Inflated Self-Esteem.” There are other due process concerns as well, and whether this whole program is even legal, but the courts work slowly.

Pennsylvania

Sunday Hunting

Senate Bill 1080 and House Bill 1374 are still making progress in the Pennsylvania legislature. The bill would allow the PA Game Commission to permit hunting on Sundays. Delaware’s legislature just passed a similar bill which is now before the Governor. Right now our bill is still in the Game and Fisheries Committee.

PICS Repeal

Pennsylvania maintains its own background check system that is separate from the federal system. HB 921, which is coming up for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee, would eliminate PICS, allowing firearms dealers to use the federal NICS system in its place. PICS costs the state a considerable amount of money to run, and is considerably less reliable than the federal system.

New Jersey

Blocking Governor Christie’s Rule Changes to Make it Easier to Get a Permit to Carry

As those of you from New Jersey may know, Governor Christie signed a series of executive orders to redefine how New Jersey gun laws are interpreted, including easing laws that include transporting firearms and easing the requirement to justify being issued a License to Carry a firearm. Unfortunately, this made the Democratic-controlled legislature angry, and they’ve introduced bills to stop this, namely ACR 175 and SCR 101, and also AB 3689.

New Hampshire Licenses Again Available to New Jersey Residents

New Hampshire Licenses to Carry were available to New Jersey residents up until the N.H. Department of Safety ended up changing its rule and required non-resident applicants to have a permit from their home state before being able to apply. However, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled last week in Bach v. N.H. Department of Safety that the requirement went beyond the department’s powers. New Hampshire licenses will again be available to New Jersey residents for those who want to carry in states that recognize the New Hampshire licenses.

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