Governor Wolf Can Neither Shutdown Private Business Nor Confiscate Firearms and Ammunition

Since Governor Wolf’s virtual press conference on March 16, 2020, there has been a lot of confusion about what, exactly, “nonessential” business are, whether he could shut them down, and speculation on whether he might seek to seize firearms and ammunition.

During the press conference, he declared that “effective at midnight all nonessential stores are to close in Pennsylvania as well as bars and restaurants, except for takeout . . .” He also stated that he “anticipates” that the closure will remain in effect for two weeks but would not commit to it ending after those two weeks.

While no one knows what Governor Wolf meant by “nonessential” and there is no executive order or written proclamation to look to, we first need to determine whether a Pennsylvania governor has the power and/or authority to order the closure of private businesses, regardless of whether essential or nonessential.

Governor Wolf cited the Emergency Management Services Code, 35 Pa.C.S. § 7101, et seq. – “Emergency Code” as the basis for his power. But what powers, exactly, does that law confer?

Section 7301 sets forth the explicit powers of the Governor during a “disaster”. Thus, before we address the putative powers of a governor in Pennsylvania during a “disaster,” we need to know what constitutes a disaster and whether COVID-19 constitutes such. For that, we need to look to the definitional section found in Section 7102. There, we find the following definitions –

“Disaster.”  A man-made disaster, natural disaster or war-caused disaster.

“Man-made disaster.”  Any industrial, nuclear or transportation accident, explosion, conflagration, power failure, natural resource shortage or other condition, except enemy action, resulting from man-made causes, such as oil spills and other injurious environmental contamination, which threatens or causes substantial damage to property, human suffering, hardship or loss of life.

“Natural disaster.”  Any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion or other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.

“War-caused disaster.”  Any condition following an attack upon the United States resulting in substantial damage to property or injury to persons in the United States caused by use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means, or other weapons or overt paramilitary actions, or other conditions such as sabotage.

What is glaringly absent from all those definitions is the word “disease” or “virus” and, as a result, the Emergency Code does not apply to COVID-19. One might think that is an oversight, but the General Assembly has explicitly enacted a law regarding disease – the Disease Prevention and Control Law, 35 P.S. § 521.19 – and that law does not provide the Governor with the power to close private business, regardless of whether essential or nonessential. Oh, and by the way, none of the laws talk about essential and nonessential businesses.

Perhaps most importantly is Article 1, Section 12 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which provides

§ 12.  Power of suspending laws. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised unless by the Legislature or by its authority.

But what about the concern over firearms?

First, since the Emergency Code does not apply to COVID-19, the powers bestowed upon the Governor in Section 7301 are meaningless. But, if we assume, arguendo and for philosophical debate, that the Emergency Code did apply, what powers does the Governor have to regulate firearms and ammunition?

Going back to Section 7301, the General Assembly, in violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Sections 21 and 25 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, seemingly provided the Governor with limited power to regulate firearms. Specifically, Section 7301(f)(8) provides:

(f)  Additional powers.–In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, the Governor may: …

(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles.

BUT, the General Assembly would later address the concern of seizure post-Katrina by enacting 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107(b), which provides:

(b)  Seizure, taking and confiscation.–Except as otherwise provided under subsection (a) and notwithstanding the provisions of 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to Commonwealth services) or any other provision of law to the contrary, no firearm, accessory or ammunition may be seized, taken or confiscated during an emergency unless the seizure, taking or confiscation would be authorized absent the emergency.

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

“Accessory.”  Any scope, sight, bipod, sling, light, magazine, clip or other related item that is attached to or necessary for the operation of a firearm.

“Firearm.”  The term includes any weapon that 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 weapon.

Nevertheless, it is time that Pennsylvania that we enact HB-1412 (permitting constitutional carry), HB-1747 (generally repealing 18 Pa.C.S. 6107 and removing “firearms” from 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301(f)(8)), and HB-303 (generally repealing the unconstitutional transportation laws). So, while you are self-quarantined, take a few minutes and contact your elected officials and demand that they enact these bills immediately (in addition to HB 1066 (preempting local regulation of firearms and providing for attorney fees and costs))! Many county sheriffs, in violation of their oaths and 18 Pa.C.S. § 5301, are refusing to issue licenses to carry firearms; thereby, placing individuals in harms way during a time where they need the ability to defend themselves the most.

Furthermore, in the event the Governor or Pennsylvania State Police decide to overstep their authority, we are prepared to go into court on an emergency basis to have any unconstitutional usurpation of power enjoined. We did it when they violated the constitutional rights of Pennsylvanians with their “partially manufactured frames and receivers” policy and we’re prepared to do it again.

If you or someone you know has had their rights violated by a Government agency, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

102 thoughts on “Governor Wolf Can Neither Shutdown Private Business Nor Confiscate Firearms and Ammunition

  1. Would it be possible Gov. Wolf is using the “… or other catastrophe…” clause of Section 7102 to decalre that a disease or virus constitutes a ‘Disaster’? the end result is the same, that Gov. Wolf does not have the authority to confiscate arms.

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    1. Wolf didn’t even mention guns, at all. the actual story is this
      A Bucks County gun buyer and a Lancaster County gun store owner, who argued that the coronavirus clampdown violated their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
      The “clampdown” is in regards to statewide order closing all non-“life-sustaining” businesses, because gun stores aren’t a life sustaining business. At least while hunting/fishing restrictions haven’t been lifted. I’d prefer they not be lifted, i just know the irrational fear will = no population of animals and likely a lot of people shot, basically another toilet paper situation.

      Not even barely into this, no reason to even fact check further, as nothing else matters after this
      “Natural disaster.” ….. or other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.
      His claim, “What is glaringly absent from all those definitions is the word “disease” or “virus”.
      That’s because it doesn’t need it.
      “possible loss of life” that’s it, that’s what we’re protecting against.

      he would make a good book writer, great with steering a narrative.
      one thing is for sure, he’s no lawyer! if he is, feel bad for his clients, they’d be better off with self-rep.

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  2. Your an idiot. In these days with how quickly virus spreads, your complaining about the governor saying any business that isn’t essential (has, healthcare, childcare or grocery) to close? Your part of the problem of WHY this virus is spreading as fast as it is…….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just what would you deem as “essential” ? Nothing is essential if you don’t currently need it. Anything you currently need IS essential. A tire for my car, or a fuse for my fusebox IS essential if I should need either!
      Are you so blind that you cannot see a blatent power grab by leftist politicians?

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    2. He did not say he wasn’t behaving sensibly. He said the governor overstepped the legal authority of that office. It’s vitally important in times of uncertainty that people know our rules and pay attention. Preferably everyone. Something else that’s important is treating others with courtesy. You can disagree without stooping to calling names.

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    3. Yes, childcare has closed and he is also telling all hotels to close as well as all state road repair crews. He is causing large businesses who are here to think twice when this is over to even be in Pennsylvania. Why should he care? He is a multimillionaire .

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    4. The problem Kevein is, there is so much misinformation put out by the lamestream media, few actualy know what is going on!! Please do some real research before you start calling folks “and idiot”!!! It’s not as bad as it’s being made out to be, and this is a government over reach if ever there was one!!!

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    5. I AGREE WITH YOU 100% KEVIN! I WONDER HOW HE’LL FELL WHEN SOMEONE IN HIS FAMILY OR FRIENDS DIES BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE’NT FOLLOWING WHAT THE AUTHORITIES ARE TELLING US WHAT TO AND NOT TO DO. THAT IS IF HE HAS ANY 1000’s OF PEOPLE ARE DIEING AND THATS WHAT HES WORRIED ABOUT! I’m not committing on the gum issue because I haven’t heard that only that our local sheriffs office aren’t aloud to give any permits or something to that effect. THE GOVERNORS ARE ALSO GOING BY WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAS TO SAY. AND LIKE TRUMP OR NOT HES STILL THE PRESIDENT!!!

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      1. TURN THE TV OFF
        YOU EXAGGERATE WAY TO MUCH.
        WHERE ARE THE THOUSANDS of deaths?
        United States 4 hrs ago.
        Coronavirus Cases:
        19,573
        Deaths:
        262

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    6. Do “you’re” own research . CHILDCARE / DAYCARE *is* closed , bub . A Number of vitally essential areas of business are included on “the list.”

      But go ahead , *trust* your gubberment, they’ll protect yee .

      LONG LIVE THE 2ND AMENDMENT, LONG LIVE THE CONSTITUTION, LONG LIVE THE BILL OF RIGHTS”

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    7. You are absolutely right this has to end Iam sure no one wants this to go on longer than necessary I don’t want anyone else dying

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    8. Given the fact that Gov. Wolf did not do this during the height of the Flu season; which caused more deaths in Pennsylvania than the Coronavirus; I would say he’s on shaky ground.

      Liked by 1 person

    9. Looks like you completely missed the point. Wolf only has the power granted by the Legislature in specific situations. Current situation is excluded.

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    10. actually Kevin YOU’RE the idiot. Because as long as one business remains open and people are allowed to freely travel by car from home to home… we do not have safety. We just have a panacea… a placebo. The closing of the state liquor stores is another IDIOT move. Kind of like closing pharmacies or doctor offices. I want all the conspiracy nutjobs around me to be able to remain drunk over the next two weeks… its better than them stewing in their own irrational fears like yours.

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    11. Typical name calling you’ll be the 1st to go home and sit on your ass and expect other to send you toilet paper and keep your water and lights on. PUSSY

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  3. Not gonna argue about the gun issue (has the Governor even brought it up?), but the definition of “disaster emergency” (which weirdly was omitted from this post) would seem to cover a pandemic:

    “‘Disaster emergency.’ Those conditions which may by investigation made, be found, actually or likely, to:

    (1) affect seriously the safety, health or welfare of a substantial number of citizens of this Commonwealth or preclude the operation or use of essential public facilities;”

    I would also direct your attention to Title 35, Section 7301, which would appear to obviate the authority of the Legislature:

    “(b) Executive orders, proclamations and regulations.–Under this part, the Governor may issue, amend and rescind executive orders, proclamations and regulations which shall have the force and effect of law.”

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    1. It’s also covered in the definition of natural disaster as other catastrophe.

      “Natural disaster.” Any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion or other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.

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      1. One person has died in the entire state from COVID-19 and 200 people are infected. Get back to me when 12,000 people are infected (that would be one-tenth of one percent of the state’s population).

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      2. fr gough, 268 people are confirmed to have it. Doesn’t mean hundreds if not thousands more have it and just don’t show symptoms or are too afraid to go get tested and are spreading it. You are basically saying wait until its gets to where we can’t prevent the spread of it to use preventive measures.

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    1. Michael, it’s interesting that you call him “a liberal lawyer who doesn’t know anything.” Considering he’s complaining about Wolf, a liberal, overstepping his authority, coupled with bringing it guns into the issue when Wolf has never mentioned anything about them, my guess is that this attorney is a conservative.

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  4. I have a bar in Philadelphia that had to close by 5:00pm on 3/16 don’t know what where going to do we have no income coming in so showdowns we pay the bills

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  5. By the time people realize, and get over this obsession of their rights being violated it will be too late. Too many people think this is a hoax, or it’s being overblown. In about 2 weeks when there’s hundreds of thousands of cases reported. And thousands of deaths occurring then people will be scared, but the damage was already been done. It will be too late

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    1. In some countries they are killing the elderly rather than dealing with them. Rights is everything when you have nothing at all. Maybe it’s you that needs a refresher in history and civics.

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      1. They aren’t killing the elderly, they are giving the limited resource to the ones most likely to survive once they’ve run out, because their older population prioritized ski trips over containing a pandemic.

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    1. Injurious environmental contamination? That being said why then was Gov. Wolf not doing this in the previous flu seasons that killed 100’s of PA residents? Where is the legal precedents? There is no legal precedents and Gov. Wolf does not have the authority to do his. The Courts will override Gov. Wolf’s Emergency shutdown of all non life essential businesses. I believe that Gov. Wolf could probably get away with shutting down the PA Government, most residents wouldn’t even notice.

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  6. I’m 46 goddamn years old and I’m not some dick in a suit say, in essence, to ignore the governor and go party. Spread the goddamn virus and one goddamn life lost is on your bald head.

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    1. You sound like a three year old. Your fear is yours to hold. People get the flu every year and pass it off to other people that may or may not die from it. There is no law that stops them from going to work. Yet, this virus is shutting down the world, why? Look past your fear and ask yourself why this hasn’t been done with the flu when it kills 500,000 plus people a year world wide.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Look at Italy and tell me “It’s just the flu” – it’s far worse, and even if it wasn’t, don’t you think we’d want to contain a SECOND FLU while we have the chance?

        Plus we have vaccines and treatments for the flu. Corona is too for us to have any defenses at all.

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      2. I’ve had the flu and gotten over it with some issues. This is worse. This would kill me. I have a suppressed immune system and existing respiratory disease.

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  7. Where are farmers in this? Life sustaining I would guess. Seed companies? What are we eating at the end of the year. Fertilizer companies? What will make the food we eat.? Outside workers that have no contact with people. Does the governor get paid during this time? What about pay processing business. I don’t see how you can make a statement and not clarify what you mean.The enforcers . Are they life sustaining workers. Are workers cleaning your buildings life sustaining workers. Are cafeteria workers in state government buildings working? My whole point you cannot make an open ended order and Call it done. We pay too much for leadership than the half baked direction we are getting.

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  8. Phillips is one of the ones had 2 confirmed cases and they didn’t shut down what is the difference between bar or grocery store has people in it This is wrong shut down every thing for 7 days come on Especially 2 case in one work place needs shut down

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    1. I agree! I worked at a DG and was made to come in to work but after doing the research of what’s been going on overseas I choose to quarantine!

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  9. I pray this law firm makes an emergency application to the 3rd Circuit to stop this madman. I also hope that when this is found to be unconstitutional to both our Federal and Commonwealth Constitutions that he is sued personally by the many individuals and companies he caused harm to, and spends the rest of his miserable life in court.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So how do we stop him! What can we the people do legally to block him? He just declared all businesses must shut down or there will be fines, possible jail and possible Loss of business license. With all this I can’t even find food on the shelves to buy for my family! I see no shipments coming in. Is he trying to take over. We MUST stand up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read this blog carefully and think the points are valid, I do believe he is overstepping his authority. He can certainly “urge” or “request” businesses to close, but deciding which businesses are essential and which are not, forcing closures with threats of using police and state agencies as enforcement Are gestapo tactics. This is NOT communist China. I do have a question though…does the president’s declaration of a National emergency override our state laws?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pretty sure the Gov’s authority would be valid by “Emergency Code”> “Natural Disaster”> “other catastrophe” I would suggest anyone who decides to go against the Gov’s order to be prepared to suffer the initial immediate legal criminal consequences and legal litigation expenses to follow. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m also not ignorant of the law and how it can used against you.

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    1. For him to use the threat of intimidation with criminal or legal maybe he should be the one to worry about that because the law is on the side of the people. Anything he does to them can come back to bite him.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is garbage and going to get people hurt. Under Natural Disasters, it states “other catastrophe” which is open enough to cover what the Governor is talking about. If you’re a lawyer, do what lawyers are essentially paid to do and read the document.

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    1. Then you should check the definition of the pertinent words. Catastrophe: an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster: a national economic catastrophe | leading the world to catastrophe.
      It could become a disaster if we Pennsylvanians were noncompliant with the voluntary request. According to health.pa.gov there have been only 185 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania, almost half of which are in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. My County, Berks, has only 1 case. Thankfully, there has been only 1 death in all of Pennsylvania.

      Yes this is scary, but this draconian Order vastly exceeds what is needed. Do you realize that 2/3 of the Commonwelath’s land area has had NO cases. None! Zero! Zip! Any controls should be limited to the affected areas, with less restrict rules for the bordering counties, and NO limitations to Counties surrounded by disease free counties. Our Governor’s actions define overreach!

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  14. What about his saying that ANY BUSINESS in violation of his shut-down order will be DENIED ALL state emergency FUNDS – even if he cannot shut us down legally can he not make it so we cant survive without the low interest loans that we small businesses are going to RELY on during this period ?

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  15. I just went and watched Governor Wolf’s recent announcement about business closings. He didn’t say anything about a gun seizure; why are people on about that? Did he say it somewhere else?

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  16. Dude, it’s right there in the definition of “natural disaster” you cite above: “Any … other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.”

    Anyone who doubts the novel coronavirus results in substantial hardship or actual, much less possible, loss of life is not playing with a full deck.

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  17. This is a reply I made to a post. It is regarding the closing of gun shops in PA as it relates to the second amendment and the current events in our industry…..

    … today, I turned away a 30 something single woman in the parking lot at the shop (we sell firearms). She said she had never thought of buying or wanted to own a firearm. She continued to say she had three girls at home and wanted a firearm to try to keep them all safe because she was scared. She genuinely looked it. Now she can not purchase an arm to “bear” because we are all forced to close. She is at home tonight without the protection she has wanted, has a right to and can not come back any time in the foreseeable future to buy a firearm under that right to keep herself or her daughters safe. It is NOT about the guy who wants his 10th AR or a 4th glock, he does have enough. It is about that woman and her right to feel she and her daughters are safe. I have heard dozens of similar stories in the last 4 days. From 4:00 to 6 the last four days I have been the guy in the parking lot turning people away as it got too late to sell. We had a line of 20 or 30 people who had waited 4,5,6 HOURS we turned away. I have tried to give everyone I spoke to the hope that there is always tomorrow to get what you need. Now there is not tomorrow. YES they should have all planned for this before but they should have the right to make that choice any time especially when there is a crisis. There was nothing I could do to help. The faces and scared looks of those people that I could do nothing to help I will remember forever.

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  18. Thank you for your explanation. Please take a look at PA SB633. They wanted to push that through this past Monday but staffer was infected and everything was cancelled .

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  19. I believe the 10th Amendment to the Constitution permits the states to enforce “police powers” under the circumstances. With that being said, it is the right of the people to question whether the state is overstepping its authority. We are dealing with an unknown virus that is rapidly spreading. Chances are at least one person on this thread that is questioning/complaining is going to be affected directly or indirectly. If you want to be heard, contact your state representative or local legislator. This is why you elected them, to speak and act on your behalf.

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  20. I am from UK. This is how I see it you guys will have to face a total lockdown now or in say 4/5 weeks when the reported death and infected cases jumps.

    Lockdown now = all cleared in 12 to 18 weeks. Your health service copes well

    Lockdown in 4 weeks your health services F***** numbers increases and death increases you will eventually cleared in 12 to 18 weeks from the day you start lockdown.

    YOUR CHOICE.

    Do you want to kill your elderly parents or grand patents. No brainier

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    1. hey UK guy, your comment didn’t age well. it’s been 6 weeks and the cases and deaths have been flat and declining, despite widespread asymptomatic testing. suggest you stay in your lane, and concentrate on shoring up NHS…. check the deaths per million US vs. UK….

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  21. Yes the catastrophic event clause would provide the legal authorities for him to shot down whatever he sees fit. Trump also invoked the Stafford Act, which expands the powers of the state to act in a manner in which they believe protects the health of the people.. His actions with closing stores are legal.. He has no plan to confiscate any guns or ammo, that is just rhetoric. They are also still selling alcohol in a lot of restaurants and they have expanded the ability for carrying out beverages so restaurants could serve alcohol to go.

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  22. The idea that spell checking is what’s important here, is rediculous. People should be allowed to stay home if they’re fearful. And those who want to go to work…should go. But I truly believe we should hunker down. The people who are mourning their dead family members, all probably thought it couldn’t happen to them. A 34 yr old man just died in 17 days from approximate time of exposure. I wanna be around for my grandbaby in June. And I want my children safe. And I don’t wanna bring it home to them. Everyone would look at it differently if a family member died. As far as the guns. That’s bull. We shouldn’t allow them to be taken. But I haven’t heard any of that at all. Please inform me when that was discussed.

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  23. I believe Governor Wolf is abusing his power and taking over. He is a democrat and that’s what they want to do. What can we do about it?

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  24. I’m not going to get into your politics. I will get into the law. Your legal argument is on very shaky ground.

    A “disaster” includes “a man-made disaster, natural disaster or war-caused disaster.” 35 Pa. C.S. § 7102.

    A “natural disaster” includes “[a]ny hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion *or other catastrophe* which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or *possible loss of life.* Id. (emphasis added).

    The COVID-19 epidemic appears to fall within the scope of “other catastrophe” that is in the course of resulting in, at least, “possible loss of life.” Therefore, the current epidemic falls within the statutory definition of a disaster.

    Based on that, Governor Wolf has the statutory authority to declare a disaster under 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(c) and invoke the emergency powers laid out in that section “until the Governor finds that the threat or danger has passed or the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist and terminated the state of disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation…” Id. There is also a 90-day limit if the emergency declaration is not renewed. See Id. We’re nowhere close to that yet.

    Now that Governor Wolf’s right to invoke emergency powers has been established, let’s go to the two specific powers you criticized in your blog title: “GOVERNOR WOLF CAN NEITHER SHUTDOWN PRIVATE BUSINESS NOR CONFISCATE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION.”

    As to the first criticism, “GOVERNOR WOLF CAN[NOT] SHUTDOWN PRIVATE BUSINESS,” yes he can: During an emergency declaration, “In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, the Governor may: […] Control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area and the occupancy of premises therein.” 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(f)(7). The Governor has decelerated all of Pennsylvania a disaster area based upon COVID-19 and restricted the occupancy of certain “non-life sustaining” businesses’ brick and mortar locations therein. He has that power under 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(f)(7), so that takes care of that.

    As to your second criticism, “GOVERNOR WOLF CAN[NOT] CONFISCATE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION,” let’s first get the red herring out of the way: Despite your provocative title, no one in PA gov’t has breathed a word about confiscating guns. So you’re essentially arguing against a ghost (and on a side note, perhaps being a little disingenuous and alarmist to those readers that won’t read the fine print). To the extent that you have a problem with the Commonwealth interfering with a person’s ability to *obtain new guns* (a plausible reading of the executive order’s shutdown of “Sporting Goods” stores), this is again backed up by 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(f)(7) (as discussed above) and (f)(8) (authorizing the Governor during an emergency to “[s]uspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, *firearms*, explosives and combustibles.”).

    Finally, although this is a can of worms, I’ll briefly touch on the constitutional issue: Despite the broad breadth of the Second Amendment, the US Supreme Court has kept it known that, inter alia, “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” remain fair game. See District of Columbia v. Heller, 552 U.S. 570, 626 – 627 (2008). If Governor Wolf were indefinitely prohibiting firearms sales in Pennsylvania, he’d be in constitutional jeopardy regardless of any state statute. But banning the occupancy of gun stores, along with a lot of other stores, not to squelch gun sales, but to keep people from getting sick, does not remotely resemble such an infringement (at least not any more than banning people from public buildings infringes upon one’s First Amendment right to free speech in public). It’s incidental to keeping people safe; it’s not the goal. Therefore, it does not exceed the reasonable scope of “conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” condoned in Heller, and is not unconstitutional.

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  25. Whoever wrote this is stupid.

    ““Natural disaster.” Any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion or other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.”

    Just because it doesn’t say “virus” or “disease” doesn’t mean anything when the words “natural disaster” are there. A virus being “natural” and a pandemic being a “disaster”. Also the wording at the end…

    …” or OTHER CATASTROPHE WHICH RESULTS IN substantial damage to property, HARDSHIP, SUFFERING OR POSSIBLE LOSS OF LIFE.”

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    1. Is it not a catastrophe when a person has no job and cannot pay their bills or put food on the table for their family, or perhaps cannot pay rent or the mortgage, and due to this extreme stress commits suicide? Shutting down all business us just another form of disaster — and creating another form of disaster is not a way to overcome the other disaster.

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  26. What part of “other catastrophe” do you not understand? I quit reading when I realized the author is ignorant of the English language. This is total propaganda.

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  27. If you go to the source legit one of the first things is disaster emergency. Which includes pandemics. This article is legit just to be click bait and get people riled up.

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  28. “But people are going to die.”
    Yes, they are.
    And people have died so that we can live in a nation and a state that operates under the rule of law. Their deaths matter too.

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  29. Everyone is worried about businesses closing, I’m more upset about those idiots taking spring break and spreading out all over the country. Not caring in the least about the elderly or children they may infect.

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  30. THANK YOU! for your work for freedom. How can we help you? Thank you. I have contacted my state legislators (those of you reading, please do the same). This is a dangerous precedent.

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  31. At no time in this article did Mr. Prince state that he was, or we should be, unconcerned for the health of ourselves and others. This article is ONLY meant to address the legality of the issue at hand, which is namely whether or not the governor has the legal authority to “mandate” business closure in Pennsylvania. Regardless of the possible accuracy/inaccuracy of his assessment, Mr. Prince does not suggest that businesses should refuse to comply.

    Reading the responses to this article provided me with additional, and more complete, information concerning the legality of this issue. It is always important to understand one’s legal rights, especially in times like these.

    To those who state a disinterest or unconcern about the “seizure of firearms and ammunition” I will say only this: don’t forget Governor Wolf’s statement prior to this emergency alluding to his desire to control firearms ownership by Pennsylvania citizens; an action that cannot be easily accomplished under normal circumstances. Under these emergency conditions, however, Governor Wolf’s views of firearms ownership by Pennsylvania citizens MAY be a concern. DON’T DISCOUNT THE POSSIBILITY THAT SUCH A THING COULD COME TO BE A REAL CONCERN TO LAW ABIDING PENNSYLVANIA CITIZENS.

    Stay home whenever possible, practice “social distancing”, stay clean, stay safe.

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  32. Gov Wolf is wrong and all of you beg to differ, I sure hope you have a back up plan when he lifts this order. All these “non-essential” small or large businesses may end up going out of business due to his mandatory order. And, the employees are expecting to get their full pay from their employers. Say goodbye to your employer and good luck finding employment when this is over!! Gov. Wolf is not a business man who knows anything about running a business. He owned a family owned furniture business which he ran into the ground, but, during his campaign he used that and turned the story around and people bought it. But in fact, he has no idea how to run a business. He’s a typical democrat. Clueless!!! As far as guns are concerned, I’m not a big fan of guns, but he needs to stay the hell out of that and not even attempt to go that direction at a time like this. The man is a moron and there is no other word to describe him!!!

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  33. This is the absolute DUMBEST blog I have ever seen in my life! The 10th amendment gives full and all power to a governor of a state. If you read it, the Power to Police states that a governor can and is able to shut down all and anything that causes hazard or danger to the safety, health, and general well-being of his people. You brainless morons need to read the constitution and laws!

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  34. Joshua Prince ASS HOLE I guess you don’t care if people live are die he is trying to keep everyone safe the best way he can

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  35. No surprise that giant chain stores like Walmart Get to stay open and benefit from small businesses having to close their doors.

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  36. It would be really helpful if there could be some discussion as to the legality of the county phasing plan after June 4th when the emergency declaration expires. I would also like to understand the legality of the health mandates after that date? Are they effective indifferently or is their authority based on the extra state of emergency executive powers?

    Most importantly to prevent this situation from occurring in the future, is any effort underway to change the law to prevent a state of emergency from lasting for 90 days without legislative involvement. Many of our neighboring states have much sorter durations. A lot of damage can be done in 90 days and it seems like we’ve set a terrible precedence for the executive to proclaim kingship.

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