Issue: Countering Bad Policies

Some laws and policies put forth by gun advocates are not just bad ideas, they are dangerous. The gun lobby not only works against commonsense policies that make it harder for people who should not have guns to get them, but also works to eliminate the few good policies and procedures that Pennsylvania has in place.  We must defend against these misguided and dangerous proposals and counter these bad ideas with action.  Standing up to the gun lobby shows our elected officials that we are serious about change.

Featured Action

Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper and speak out against bad gun policies.

Speak Out Against Bad Policies
Contact your local paper and make clear where you stand!

The gun lobby wants to eliminate the one strong piece of Pennsylvania’s system for regulating firearms: the Pennsylvania Instant Criminal Background Check System. The Pennsylvania State Police believe this system not only works to block gun sales to prohibited purchasers but has more data than the federal system and has additional benefits to law enforcement agents.

In 2015, these bills are pending in both the State House (HB 921) and Senate (SB 725).

More Actions

  • Oppose Elimination of PICS:
    • Don’t let our legislature eliminate the Pennsylvania Instant Criminal Background Check System.

H.B.505– The gun lobby is also pushing a different end-run around the state background-check system. HB 505—introduced by Representative Gabler and referred to the House Judiciary Committee on February 17, 2015–would allow anyone possessing a license to carry a concealed weapon in the state of PA to purchase any firearm without a background check “in the event of electronic failure, scheduled computer downtime or similar event beyond the control of the Pennsylvania State Police.” Instead, at the time of purchase, the purchaser shall “obtain a completed application/record of sale … as if an instantaneous records check has not been established for any sale or transfer of a firearm for the purpose of a subsequent background check”.

In other words, if the PICS computer system overloads, then anyone who already possesses a concealed carry permit can buy whatever gun he or she would like to buy without a background check. To make this even more unbelievable, if PICS is down for more than 48 hours, then there is no requirement to present a concealed carry license to buy a firearm—anyone can buy any firearm without a background check under the assumption that he/she will be back to get one as soon as PICS is up and running again.

This is—in a phrase—beyond dangerous and flat-out bizarre. We need safer communities and our state representatives need to know that one way to get them is by opposing (and voting against, if a vote is called for) HB 505.

H.B. 230–   This bill, introduced by Rep. Rick Saccone and referred to our state House Judiciary Committee on January 27, 2015, would eliminate the long-established state requirement that a firearms owner apply for a separate license before he/she can conceal and carry a firearm anywhere in the Commonwealth.

While there would still be a procedure in place for gun owners who want to get a license to carry, under HB 230, even that procedure would be relaxed. If HB 230 passes, firearms owners who are residents of this Commonwealth will be allowed to obtain a concealed carry license: 1) from an application to the county treasurer, not the county sheriff as required by the current concealed-carry permitting process; 2) with the country treasurer employing only the National Instant Check System (NICS), not the national system and the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) as required by the current permitting process, and 3) without anyone considering the intangible “quality of character and associations” factors that are now in place through the Sheriff’s office during the current permitting process. Additionally, this license must be issued or refused within 14 days of the receipt of application now instead of the current 45-day period, thus denying the issuing authority a reasonable amount of time to fully investigate the applicant’s background.

 

We need to let our state Representatives know that the additional requirements to obtain concealed carry permits are an important factor in keeping our communities safe—and that they need to stand up for our communities by actively opposing  HB 230.

Issue Resources

Here are some other bad ideas that CeaseFirePA opposes. Learn about the legislation below.

  • A proposed Bill which would force private employers who have banned firearms in the workplace to allow the employees to store guns in their cars on the employers’ property during work hours.
  • Expansion of concealed carry laws, allowing more guns to be carried in more places throughout the state.
  • A proposed Bill which would establish a firearms curriculum for our youngest students (kindergarten through eighth grade) based on the NRA program.
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