Category Archives: Firearms Law

Has ATF Directed FFLs to Abuse the NICS System?

It’s no secret that ATF told at least one FFL they need to run a NICS check on trustees picking up NFA firearms on behalf of a trust. In a letter addressed to Dakota Silencer, ATF explained:

The term “person” is defined by the GCA at 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(1), to include “any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, or joint stock company.”

ATF has interpreted the GCA exception in sections 922(t)(3)(B) and 478.102(d)(2) to mean that firearms transfers are exempt from a NICS check when they have been approved under the NFA to the person receiving the firearm. Unlike individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations; unincorporated trusts do not fall within the definition of “person” in the GCA.

Because unincorporated trusts are not “persons” under the GCA, a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) cannot transfer firearms to them without complying with the GCA. Thus, when an FFL transfers an NFA firearm to a trustee or other person acting on behalf of a trust, the transfer is made to this person as an individual (i.e., not as a trust). As the trustee or other person acting on behalf of the trust is not the approved transferee under the NFA, 18 U.S.C. 5812, the trustee or other person acting on behalf of a trust must undergo a NICS check. The individual must also be a resident of the same State as the FFL when receiving the firearm.

This interpretation is what spawned the blog post “Did ATF’s Determination on NICS Checks Open the Door for Manufacture of New Machineguns for Trusts”  by Chief Counsel Joshua Prince. And as we all know, the NFA Examiners issued a number of approved Form 1s before they had to recall them due to an “error”.

Since this letter was published, a number of FFLs either on their own accord or through advice of counsel have begun to perform background checks when transferring NFA Firearms to trustees. But is this actually required?

A person under the National Firearms Act is defined in 26 U.S.C.A. § 7701:

The term “person” shall be construed to mean and include an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation.

As defined in the National Firearms Act of 1934, the term firearm means:

 (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of Title 18, United States Code); and (8) a destructive device. 26 U.S.C.S § 5845(a)

maxim

As defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, the term firearm means:

(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3)

So what’s the big deal you ask? There are a few different issues that need to be addressed.

First, does the GCA of 1968 even APPLY to trusts? As Section 921(a)(1) does not define the term “person” to include an unincorporated trust, there is nothing in the GCA to indicate a trust falls under its purview! As Chief Counsel Joshua Prince pointed out to me in our discussions on this topic, ATF has said that a trust cannot hold an FFL because trusts, by definition, are not a person under the GCA and thus do not fall into the purview of 18 U.S.C. § 923. Yet, in the same breath, ATF is stating that trustees need to have a background check performed when they pick up a NFA item! How is it that ATF can refuse an FFL to a trust, because it is not a person under the GCA and refuse to pierce through the trust to an actual person, while requiring an FFL to, in essence, pierce through the trust to perform a background check for an NFA item?

It would seem that ATF is directing at least one FFL to perform a background check that I can find no legal requirement to perform. To my knowledge there has not been an industry wide newsletter or open letter directing that FFLs perform such a check. And even if there were, there is nothing I can find in the law to suggest that it is actually required.

ATF in a 2011 newsletter to FFLs, addressed the licensing of trusts under federal firearms law. ATF stated that only a person under the GCA could obtain a FFL. ATF went on to say that under Section 921:

“The term ‘person’ does not include trusts.”

In a 2008 newsletter to FFLs, ATF addressed the transfer of a National Firearms Act firearm to a corporation or other legal entity.

Procedure after approval
Approved NFA transfers are exempt from the NICS background check. So, when the FFL arranges for the disposition of the NFA firearm to a representative of the corporation or other entity, only the ATF
Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record, must be completed by the representative of the corporation or other entity.

Furthermore, the NICS system isn’t even run by ATF. FBI is responsible for NICS and for what purposes it can be used. 28 C.F.R. § 25.6 provides:

(a) FFLs may initiate a NICS background check only in connection with a proposed firearm transfer as required by the Brady Act. FFLs are strictly prohibited from initiating a NICS background check for any other purpose.

The Brady Act amended § 922 along with a few other sections of Chapter 44.

Looking at 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1), it provides:

Beginning on the date that is 30 days after the Attorney General notifies licensees under section 103(d) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that the national instant criminal background check system is established, a … licensed dealer shall not transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed under this chapter, unless—
(A) before the completion of the transfer, the licensee contacts the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of that Act;

Section 922(t)(3) provides:

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a firearm transfer between a licensee and another person if–…

(B) the Attorney General has approved the transfer under section 5812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;…

If the Attorney General approved the transfer under Section 5812 of the Internal Revenue Code then no NICS check is required. But the devil is in the details. We are talking about a transfer from a licensee to a person and a trust is not a person as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921. Since the licensed dealer isn’t transferring the firearm to a person, how could the GCA apply at all? Furthermore, why does it matter that the trustee or person acting on behalf of the trust is not the approved transferee under 26 U.S.C. § 5812? What makes them so special that they need a NICS check performed? A person who comes in to pick up a NFA firearm on behalf of a corporation or a LLC isn’t the approved transferee. Yet, ATF doesn’t seem to have any qualms about that individual picking up a NFA firearm without a NICS check under the 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3)(B) exemption.

Moreover, 28 C.F.R. § 25.6 prohibits FFLS from utilizing the NICS system for any other purpose than required by the Brady Act. Ostensibly, FFLs cannot comply with what ATF purportedly wants them to do; access NICS to perform a background check on a Trustee picking up a NFA firearm.

Utilizing the NICS system for purposes other than allowed by Subpart A of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System as defined by 28 C.F.R. §§ 25.1-25.11 shall result in a fine not to exceed $10,000 and the possible cancellation of NICS inquiry privileges. Which can more or less be read as the loss of ability to conduct business as a FFL, if it is canceled.

Even if the NICS query would not be illegal to perform, there is another issue under Pennsylvania law!

Pennsylvania defines firearm very differently. In 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 a firearm is defined as:

Any pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 15 inches, any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or any rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches, or any pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches. The barrel length of a firearm shall be determined by measuring from the muzzle of the barrel to the face of the closed action, bolt or cylinder, whichever is applicable.

As you are probably aware, the Pennsylvania State Police act as a point of contact for the NICS system. However, Pennsylvania law only allows for limited uses of the PICS system. These uses are defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111.

psp

Section 6111(b) requires that:

No … licensed dealer shall sell or deliver any firearm to another person … until the conditions of subsection (a) have been satisfied and until he has:

(1) For purposes of a firearm as defined insection 6102 (relating to definitions), obtained a completed application/record of sale from the potential buyer or transferee…

(2) Inspected photoidentification of the potential purchaser or transferee…

(3) Requested by means of a telephone call that the Pennsylvania State Police conduct a criminal history, juvenile delinquency history and a mental health record check.

(4) Received a unique approval number for that inquiry from the Pennsylvania State Police and recorded the date and the number on the application/record of sale form.

(5) Issued a receipt containing the information from paragraph (4), including the unique approval number of the purchaser….

Section 6111(f)(1) provides:

For the purposes of this section only … “firearm” shall mean 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.

Even with the expanded definition of firearm for the purposes of this section, a silencer does not fit into the criteria spelled out by the General Assembly!

So what does all of this mean?

Section 6111(g)(3) states:

Any … licensed dealer … who knowingly and intentionally requests a criminal history, juvenile delinquency or mental health record check or other confidential information from the Pennsylvania State Police under this chapter for any purpose other than compliance with this chapter … commits a felony of the third degree.

Even if FFLs could contact NICS to perform a background check on a trustee when delivering a NFA Firearm without abusing the system, a Pennsylvania FFL will be committing a felony of the third degree under state law!

nics

FFLs who are conducting background checks on trustees due to their interpretation of the Dakota Silencer letter or legal advice they received may wish to inquire with their counsel as to whether or not they actually need to perform one. There does not appear to be any basis in the law for such a requirement. Section 921 does not include an unincorporated trust in the definition of a “person” and the Attorney General would have approved the transfer under 26 U.S.C.A. § 5812 to the trust!

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PRESS RELEASE: Lawsuit Filed Against Lower Merion Township Regarding Its Illegal Firearm Ordinance

Today, Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., filed an 24 page Complaint, plus exhibits, against Lower Merion Township on behalf of Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) and two individual plaintiffs regarding the Township’s illegal and unconstitutional firearm ordinance – Section 109-16. In the Complaint, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince argues that the Township’s ordinance violates 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120 and Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, for which even Township Manager McNelly admitted and which is included as an exhibit.

Although the Township was provided an opportunity to repeal its illegal ordinance, in direct defiance of the state crime of Official Oppression, as well as, Section 6120, the Commissioners, contrary to the advice of their solicitor, refused to repeal or amend Section 109-16.

It is unfortunate that Township’s taxpayers will be burdened by the Township’s elected officials believing it is acceptable, and even gloating, that they are violating the Crimes Code and refusing to repeal such illegal provisions.

As it is a misdemeanor of the first degree to violate Section 6120, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6119, we call upon Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, who is currently running for judge in Montgomery County, to bring charges against the Township and its representatives for their violations of the Crimes Code, including conspiracy, official oppression, and Section 6120. It is time that our elected officials be held accountable for their actions.

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Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF’s Proposed Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are “Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes”

As many of our viewers are aware, Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., has been following ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). Today, we filed our formal Comment in opposition to ATF’s proposed framework. With exhibits, it is over 330 pages. You can download a copy here.

m855

While gun owners and groups rejoiced after ATF announced it was no longer moving forward with the proposed reclassification on SS109/M855, many seemed to overlook a key phrase. ATF stated, “Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework.” Furthermore, there are still many inherent dangers in ATF’s proposed framework which are addressed in detail in FICG’s comment.

ATF’s Director Todd B. Jones appeared in front of a Senate Appropriations Committee this morning and was quoted as saying that all types of the 5.56 military-style ammo used by shooters pose a threat to police as more people buy the AR-15-style pistols.

The firearms community needs to remain vigilant about future action ATF may take with regards to .223/5.56 ammunition.

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Celebrating the ATF’s Decision Regarding SS109/M855 Ammunition? NOT SO FAST…

While many organizations are celebrating the putative victory in relation to the ATF’s announcement of earlier today that it would “not at this time seek to issue a final framework”, Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., would caution our viewers and the Firearms Industry that ATF can likely, at any time, seek to move forward with a final framework without any further notice or comment.

Today, ATF posted on its website:

Notice to those Commenting on the Armor Piercing Ammunition Exemption Framework

Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.

Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.

As ATF’s original Notice of Proposed Framework likely constituted a procedural rule, it was not likely subject to the notice-and-comment procedures under the Administrative Procedural Act, except for the ammunition specifically addressed. This may be why ATF erred on the side of caution in permitting comments but did not notice such comment period in the Federal Register. Regardless, ATF opened the door by permitting comments through March 16, 2015, and it is imperative that all individuals and entities that desire to comment on its proposed framework submit comments in opposition before the close of the comment period on Monday, March 16th. Contrary to ATF’s statement, as has been consistently reflected under the current Administration, an open and transparent process is anything but what has been provided, as will be further explained in FICG’s Comment in opposition. Further, although ATF states that it will further study the issues raised, assuming any framework constitutes a procedural rule, with the exception of the ammunition specifically addressed, ATF could move forward without any further notice or comment period.

It is for these reason that FICG believes it is imperative that all interested parties continue to submit their comments in opposition to the proposed framework through Monday, March 16th. In the next coming days, FICG will submit and post its extensive Comment regarding the proposed framework to ensure that all relevant and pertinent issues are raised and preserved, in protection of the Firearms Industry and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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ATF…The Alphabet Agency That Needs to Relearn Plain English

Over the past few weeks the internet has been on fire with articles, comments, petitions and information relating to ATF’s removal of SS109/M855’s (commonly known as “green tip”) exemption from being classified as armor piercing ammunition. This information came to light in ATF’s proposed framework to determine whether a projectile is “primarily intended for sporting purposes” in order to gain an exemption from being classified as armor piercing under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(C).

While the removal of the green tip exemption has dominated conversations, individuals seem to be missing the broader implications of the proposed framework, which might be exactly what ATF was trying to do. Now, I’m not proposing that ATF is trying to be insidious, but given their track record with Operation Fast and Furious and about 87 other things, I wouldn’t necessarily put it past them.

At this point, if you are reading this and have not submitted a comment, I encourage you to do so. The information for how to submit one will be at the bottom of this post.

greentip

As the title of this article suggests, it would seem that ATF doesn’t understand the statutory language in Section 921(a)(17). Posters have lamented over and over that the SS109/M855 projectile and/or ammunition does not fit the statutory criteria set out in Section 921(a)(17)(B).

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

The proposed framework for analyzing whether a projectile should be granted a “primarily intended for sporting purposes” exemption has two tests.

Category I: .22 Caliber Projectiles
A .22 caliber projectile that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(B) will be considered to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile weighs 40 grains or less AND is loaded into a rimfire cartridge.

and

Category II: All Other Caliber Projectiles
Except as provided in Category I (.22 caliber rimfire), projectiles that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition will be presumed to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun. ATF nevertheless retains the discretion to deny any application for a “sporting purposes” exemption if substantial evidence exists that the ammunition is not primarily intended for such purposes.
The term “single shot handgun” means a break-open or bolt action handgun that can accept only a single cartridge manually, and does not accept or use a magazine or other ammunition feeding device. The term does not include a pocket pistol or derringer-type firearm.

It would seem that ATF is proposing, if the projectile is by definition armor piercing, designed for .22 caliber, weighs more than 40 grains AND is loaded into a centerfire cartridge, the projectile will not be granted an exemption. Even more troublesome, is that ANY projectile, which by definition would be armor piercing, that is not .22 caliber, will not be granted an exemption unless it is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun.

These two categories fall short of providing for the exemptions that the firearms community needs. As the EPA and states crack down on lead in projectiles for “environmental reasons”, manufactures and individuals are forced to look at other materials. Brass, an inexpensive metal and good material for hunting projectiles, is one of the enumerated metals in Section 921(a)(17)(B). The implications of this proposed framework being enacted are far reaching.

In the proposed framework, ATF states an exemption was granted in 1986 to SS109/M855 “green tip” ammunition. ATF quotes language in this exemption which was granted, yet did not provide the public with a copy to reference. ATF cites the determination saying

‘…it is well documented’ that the respective ammunition ‘has been recognized as being suitable for target shooting with rifles due to its accuracy.’

ATF then proclaims that when assembled into a complete cartridge, the projectiles were exempt, but ATF did not exempt the projectiles before the cartridges were assembled. The framework continues stating that in applying the proposed framework, the green tip ammunition does not fit into the exemption any longer as it may be used in a handgun other than a single-shot handgun.

There has been much discussion about this “letter” but no one has been able to produce a copy, until now. After a lot of searching and leads given to me by some friends in the industry I was able to obtain a copy of the original determination letter that ATF issued granting the exemption to SS109/M855.

M855-SS109 Determination Letter_Page_2 (2) M855-SS109 Determination Letter_Page_2 (1)

M855-SS109 Determination Letter

In the letter, ATF reviews the definition of armor piercing, which at the time was

The term armor piercing ammunition means a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium. Such term does not include … a projectile which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes…

ATF goes on to say

Examination of the SS109 (M855 Ball) ammunition indicates that the projectile is constructed using a full metal jacket and projectile cores constructed of a steel penetrator located forward of a lead core. Based on its construction, the SS109/ M855 projectile meets the above definition of armor piercing ammunition.

Wait, did ATF just say that the projectile is constructed of two cores, one being a steel penetrator and the other being lead? It sure sounds that way. But referring back to the statute their reading doesn’t quite comport with the statutory definition.

As I’ve been contending all along, ATF never had the authority to grant an exemption to SS109/M855 as it never met the statutory criteria to be armor piercing!

Let’s examine the statutory definition of armor piercing by breaking it down and applying it to SS109/M855. First, the statute regulates a projectile or projectile core. So far, it’s applicable.

Second, the statute requires that the projectile or projectile core may be used in a handgun. Again, applicable as there were handguns during the mid 80’s which could fire a .223/5.56 cartridge.

Third, the statute requires the projectile or projectile core be constructed entirely from one or a combination of a list of enumerated materials, steel being one of them. And this is where ATF failed to understand plain English.

SS109 Cross Section from AR15.com's Ammo Oracle

SS109 Cross Section from AR15.com’s Ammo Oracle

The steel penetrator found in SS109/M855 is not the core. Since ATF developed an affinity for utilizing dictionaries in order to define terms, I think it is only proper I do the same.

Dictionary.com defines “core” as a noun meaning “the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything.”

As the makeup of SS109/M855 has been examined by numerous posters online, it is hardly fair to characterize the steel penetrator, which weighs a scant 10 grains, the core. Especially when compared to the lead portion of the projectile which weighs 32 grains. The remaining 20 grains come from the copper jacket, which given its relative position, could not conceivably be argued to be the core.

Photo from TexasRifleman1985 via AR15.com

Photo from TexasRifleman1985 via AR15.com

It would seem readily apparent that ATF had no authority to grant an exemption to SS109/M855 ammunition as it was never armor piercing by definition.

Want to get involved? There is still time. Submit your comment by March 16, 2015. You can do so in one of three ways:

ATF website: APAComments@atf.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Brown, Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070.

Additionally you can head on over to savem855.com and use that to send faxes to members of Congress. There are several form letters, including one I drafted, that you can utilize. Be sure that if you do, you still need to submit a comment as outlined above, as ATF will not consider any information it receives unless it is delivered in one of the three ways outlined in their proposed framework.

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Did Attorney General Kane Mislead the General Assembly and Fail in Her Statutory Duty?

As many of you are aware, I previously blogged on Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s 2013-2014 Annual Firearms Reciprocity Report, which the Attorney General is required, by law, to complete annually and submit to the General Assembly. Based on information I recently obtained, it is now questionable whether AG Kane purposely left out information from her report and failed in her statutory duty to enter into a reciprocity agreement with Idaho.

Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109(k)(2), the Attorney General is statutorily required to provide the General Assembly with an annual report regarding the reciprocal status with other states. Further, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109(k)(1),

The Attorney General shall have the power and duty to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states providing for the mutual recognition of a license to carry a firearm issued by the Commonwealth and a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by the other state. (Emphasis Added)

On July 1, 2014, Stephanie Altig, Deputy Attorney General of Idaho, sent a letter to Attorney General Kane requesting the establishment of a reciprocity agreement. Attorney General Kane, without any explanation, declared that “upon review of Idaho’s relevant statutory provisions, we have determined that at this time, Pennsylvania is unable to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Idaho.” You can download a complete copy of the response here.

AG Response to IdahoAttorney General Kane’s refusal to explain why a reciprocal agreement is not possible is extremely disconcerting given that Idaho’s Enhanced Concealed Carry Licensing requirements far exceed the Commonwealth’s requirements for a license to carry firearms. As a result, Deputy Attorney General Altig sent a follow up letter of August 19, 2014 to Pennsylvania Chief Deputy Attorney General Robert Mulle, inquiring as to why a reciprocal agreement was not possible, based on the enhanced requirements. To this day, neither Attorney General Kane nor Chief Deputy Mulle has responded to the letter.

In reviewing the 2013-2014 Firearm Reciprocity Report, Attorney General Kane fails to inform the General Assembly of Idaho’s inquiry. In fact, Idaho is not listed or specified anywhere in the report. Was this an attempt to hide this information or otherwise mislead the General Assembly?

As it appears that Attorney General Kane shirked her duty to enter into a reciprocity agreement with Idaho, as required by Section 6109(k)(1), she may have committed the highest level misdemeanor crime that we have in the Commonwealth, as a violation of Section 6109(k)(1) is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree, pursuant to Section 6119, which can be punished up to 5 years in jail.

It will be interesting to see how the Attorney General responds to inquiries regarding her failure to disclose the communications with Idaho to the General Assembly, as well as, the breach of her duty to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Idaho.

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Default Judgment Entered Against the City of Harrisburg, et al. in Firearm Preemption Litigation

Today, the Dauphin County Prothonotary entered a default judgment for Plaintiff Howard Bullock against the City of Harrisburg, Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Police Chief Thomas Carter in the amount of “$21,140 plus such additional sums as may be assessed at trial.”  You can download an entire copy of the Default Judgment here.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 4.18.03 PM

This default judgment stems from a lawsuit filed against the City of Harrisburg, Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Police Chief Thomas Carter by Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), Kim Stolfer, Joshua First and Howard Bullock, as a result of their illegal firearm ordinances.

On February 13, 2015, the Defendants removed FOAC, Kim Stolfer and Joshua First to the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania; however, they left Howard Bullock’s claims pending before the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. As the Defendants failed to file a responsive pleading to Plaintiff Bullock’s claims, even after being provided the requisite 10 day notice, the Dauphin County Prothonotary entered a default judgment for Mr. Bullock against the Defendants.

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