New National Defense Authorization Appropriations Bill with Substantial Pro-Second Amendment Provisions

Last week, the Senate passed S. 1356 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which included a couple significant pro-Second Amendment provisions.

First, pursuant to Section 526, a process must be established by the Secretary of Defense no later than December 31, 2015, through which members of the Armed Forces may carry an appropriate firearm on a military installation. Additionally, pursuant to Section 2811, in relation to protection of Department of Defense installations, the Secretary of Defense can authorize officers and agents of the Department of Defense to carry firearms.

Second, pursuant to Section 1087, the Secretary is authorized to transfer to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols, spare parts and related accessories for those pistols. The number of surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to be transferred is limited to 10,000, per year.

S. 1356 now awaits the President’s signature.

Also, this appropriation bill should not be confused with the other extremely pro-Second Amendment appropriations bill H.R. 2578 – Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. H.R. 2578 includes extremely important amendments, such as the funding of federal firearms relief, which has not been available since 1992, and prohibiting the ATF from utilizing any of the appropriated money for implementing a rule requiring a Chief Law Enforcement Officer signature (e.g. ATF-41p). Please contact your Senator and urge him/her to approve H.R. 2578, as passed by the House.

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Filed under ATF, Firearms Law

Hunting with Silencers in PA is Legal!

A number of individuals have inquired with our office whether it is legal to hunt with a silencer in PA. As silencers have become more popular, affordable and increasingly marketed to the hunting community, they are being utilized in the field by more people than ever. In Pennsylvania, it is legal to hunt while using a silencer.


In 2009, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince wrote to the Game Commission requesting confirmation that there are no prohibitions on hunting with silencers in PA. The Game Commission replied that it was legal to do so and suggested that individuals have a copy of their “license” for their silencer. A copy of that letter can be found here.

While the Game Commission itself spoke of a license, it is likely they meant a copy of your approved form from ATF. While researching the topic a bit further I stumbled across another letter that was issued by the Game Commission in January of this year.

Hunting with Silencer 2015

It seems in the years following Joshua’s original request, the Game Commission has taken to training their officers on the use and possession of silencers.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident and want to obtain a silencer but are unsure where to start, give us a call! We can help you form a Gun Trust to purchase your silencers. For more information on Gun Trusts you can read this blog article by Joshua Prince.

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Filed under Firearms Law, Hunting

Taxation on Legal Services in PA Likely Unless You Act Now!


Next Monday or Tuesday there will likely be a vote on Senate Bill 76 which will potentially affect the cost to obtain legal services within the state. The proposed legislation would implement a 7% tax on legal services within the state. This tax would be detrimental to those who have a difficult time affording legal services and would effectively bar groups of individuals from being able to obtain access to the judicial system by increasing the cost to do so.

What can you do to help stop this? Contact your State Senator, Representative and the Governor and demand that no tax on legal services be passed and signed into law. Unsure of your State Senator’s and Representative’s contact information? You can find that information here.

Some essential services that lawyers provide to those who are often of limited means include: obtaining worker’s compensation or Social Security benefits that have been wrongly denied, avoiding home foreclosures, gaining court-ordered protection from an abusive spouse or parent, obtaining fair and equal access to fundamental rights, dealing with a hostile landlord or tenant, fighting a property assessment action from a local government and having a simple will written or probating the will of a loved one.

Other points to make to your State Senator and Representative are that if this tax were instituted PA would be the only state in the nation that has a tax on legal services. Further, in 1987 Florida enacted a similar tax on legal services. It proved so unpopular that it was repealed after 9 months.

Prince Law Offices, P.C. is proud to bring you zealous representation at an affordable price. We hope you’ll join us in saying no to Senate Bill 76.


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U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) releases November 2015 Clean Energy Report.  For decades, America has anticipated the transformational impact of clean energy technologies.  As the federal government and industry made long-term investments to support those technologies, some critics became impatient, claiming a clean energy future would “always be five years away.”  Today, the DOE reports that the clean energy future has “arrived”.revolution-now-infographic

In 2013, the DOE released the Revolution Now report, highlighting four transformational technologies: land-based wind power, silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and electric vehicles (EVs). That study and its 2014 update showed how dramatic reductions in cost are driving a surge in consumer, industrial, and commercial adoption for these clean energy technologies—as well as yearly progress.

In addition to presenting the continued progress made over the last year in these areas, this year’s update goes further. Two separate sections now cover large, central, utility-scale PV plants and smaller, rooftop, distributed PV systems to highlight how both have achieved significant deployment nationwide, and have done so through different innovations, such as easier access to capital for utility-scale PV and reductions of non-hardware costs and third-party ownership for distributed PV.

Along with these core technologies, this update briefly introduces three additional technologies on the cusp of wider deployment and cost reduction in the coming years: smart building systems, fuel-efficient freight trucks, and vehicle lightweighting.

Today, clean energy technologies are providing real-world solutions—not only do they reduce the carbon pollution, but they also drive a domestic energy economy with technologies that are increasingly cost-competitive with existing conventional technologies, even without accounting for the climate benefits. Clean energy manufacturing and installations have also become major opportunities for American workers in the 21st century.

Even though we are seeing the results of the enormous progress these technologies have achieved, there is still more that can be accomplished. DOE’s recent Quadrennial Technology Review identified hundreds of clean energy research and innovation opportunities in our homes, businesses, cars and trucks, and in the power sector, that with sustained investment will provide real-world solutions to our energy challenges.

With the continued progress of the core technologies in this DOE November 2015 Report, and more innovations on the horizon, the clean energy revolution is clearly transforming the way we produce and use energy.

If you or your business have questions regarding renewable energy projects, energy law or real estate law, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Filed under Business Law, Energy Law

PA Hunter Safety Course Available Online

Pennsylvania law requires that first time hunters take and pass an approved Hunter Safety Course prior to purchasing their first hunting license. Unfortunately for individuals who are unaware of this requirement, there is nothing in the system that would prevent a clerk from selling them a license. As such, individuals are at risk for purchasing a hunting license that they technically should not be in possession of.

The Game Commission and its officers can see if an individual has taken and passed the approved course. If the individual has not and is caught hunting, they could potentially face a number of citations that they might not otherwise.


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Good news for those of you who have not yet taken a Hunter Safety Course. There is no need to find a course at a remote location as it can be taken online in the comfort of your own home! The Official Pennsylvania Hunter Safety Education Course allows you to take the Hunter Safety Course at your own leisure and only charges you when you pass the test!

If you or someone you know has NOT yet taken a Hunter Safety Education Course and plan on hunting, use the link above. You’ll be ready to hit the woods in no time!


Have you been charged with a hunting violation? Be sure to contact our office before you do anything at 610-845-3803.


Filed under Firearms Law, Hunting

Solar Industry SunShot Catalyst Demo Day on December 10th in Philadelphia

SunShot launched the Catalyst prize competition in 2014 to connect American innovators to the tools, capabilities, data assets, and resources developed by the Energy Department and its national laboratories. Through four contests, the competition challenges tech startups to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing the solar industry with the goal of cutting soft costs to make solar energy more affordable.

CatalystThe first cohort of teams launched their products at Demo Day in May 2015, where five teams each won $30,000 to help advance their early-stage solutions towards commercialization. Now, the second cohort of brand new teams takes the stage in Demo Day on December 10 in Philadelphia.

This group of 19 finalists represents 14 teams focused on solar technologies and 5 teams working on buildings technologies. Catalyst teamed up with the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office this cycle to develop innovative solutions for reducing energy use while maintaining occupant comfort and promoting better engagement of building occupants. Learn more about all 19 finalists and watch their pitch videos.

What is Demo Day?

Catalyst Prize Demo Day is a public event where 19 selected teams will showcase their new solar products and solutions and pitch a panel of investors and judges for a chance to win up to $700,000 in cash prizes. Winners will be announced at the end of Demo Day.

When, Where?

Demo Day will take place on December 10 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. Admission is free and open to the public.

Why YOU should attend!

You will have the opportunity to contribute comments, ideas, and recommendations during each team’s demonstration and pitch via interactive polling. You’ll also have the opportunity to build relationships and network with a large community of innovators, mentors, investors, students and technologists in attendance at the event’s formal and informal networking sessions.

Now what?

A full house is expected. Act quickly to reserve your spot now. Register HERE.

Catalyst is an open innovation program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that allows the public to rapidly develop software products and solutions that address near-term challenges in the U.S. building energy efficiency and solar energy marketplaces through a staged prize contest. To learn more visit:

If you or your business have questions regarding solar energy projects, energy law or real estate law, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Filed under Business Law, Energy Law, News & Events, Real Estate

No Relief, No Surrender

On Monday evening, 11/09/2015, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals failed to surprise anyone, issuing a 2-1 decision that affirms the current injunction against the Executive expansion of DACA.  >>See decision here<<

The reader may recall that this blog has attempted to provide some coverage of this increasingly fraught showdown. See explanation of DAPA and litigation here.  As it is, the more than 4 million persons that the DACA expansion would temporarily and minimally “protect”  are again left in the lurch, without relief from the specter of separation from their families, not even to mention their more than 6 million children who stand to lose their parents. >> See statistics under FAQs<<  >>more statistics<<

Both the Opinion and Dissent are lengthy affairs and I’m not sure a detailed reading or analysis of either is necessary — both camps essentially rehashed the same arguments leading up to this week’s decision.

Justice Jerry Smith, writing the Court’s decision for the majority, underlined that in the view of court, the expansion of DACA exceeds the powers conferred to the Executive through the INA and defies the APA’s “notice-and-comment” requirement.

In a vigorous dissent, Justice Carolyn King states that “a mistake has been made” – she points out that when historically compared to other Executive Actions that have effected changes in U.S. Immigration Policy, neither DACA nor the DACA expansion are particularly exceptional – various “deferred action” schemes have previously been applied to U.S. Immigration Law and/or Policy since the 1980s (they were never challenged by lawsuit). Slip Op. at 86, 124,   King also reasserts a core argument that the government has been making all along – an argument that King does not believe has been adequately rebutted by the 5th Circuit decision.  Namely, King does not believe the claims brought by Texas and the cabal of 25 other states are justiciable considering that the Expansion has been enabled by a Memorandum that technically offers no more than guidance or a framework. Id at 76-77. Further, the dissent points out that the Memorandum does not impose any affirmative duties on officials or on the states, nor creates “positive law”; King also noted that since the Expansion calls for a case-by-case execution of the Memo’s principles, notice-and-comment is not necessary. Id at 73.

Going back to what she views as the essential non-justiciability of the claim, King does well to criticize the tenuousness of the Standing-theory proffered by Plaintiffs.  Specifically, the majority sustained Plaintiffs’ theory that Standing is conferred solely on the basis of the potential costs to be incurred for providing DAPA recipients with drivers’ licenses.  King found this to be a very weak (if not illusory) basis for Standing which effectively gives Texas et. al constitutionally impermissible “special solicitude”, especially considering that all the other “theories” of Standing heretofore broached by Plaintiffs have either been abandoned or not adopted by any of the prior decisions in the course of this litigation. Id at 79-80.  Indeed, as to Standing, it appears that Plaintiffs have thrown a bunch of spaghetti on the wall and a morsel of sauce has stuck, barely. Id at 79-83.

Not surrendering, the United States DOJ aims to promptly appeal this decision as indicated by an 11/10/2015 press release.

This writer thinks it probable that if the appeal is filed before the end of the current SCOTUS term, certiorai is likely to be granted to hear this case. We shall see.

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Family Law, Immigration Law