FCC SPEEDS ACCESS TO UTILITY POLES TO PROMOTE BROADBAND, 5G DEPLOYMENT

Access to Poles Must Be Safe, Swift, Predictable, and Affordable

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promoted broadband deployment and competition by speeding the process and reducing the costs of attaching new network facilities to utility poles.FCCRuling

To enable broadband providers to enter new markets and deploy high-speed networks, access to poles must be swift, predictable, safe, and affordable.  Pole access also is essential in the race to deploy fast 5G wireless service, which relies on small cells and wireline backhaul.  An estimated 100,000 to 150,000 small cells will be constructed by the end of 2018, and these numbers are projected to reach 455,000 by 2020 and 800,000 by 2026.

The FCC fundamentally reformed the federal framework governing pole attachments by adopting a process in which the new attacher moves existing attachments and performs all other work required to make the pole ready for a new attachment.  Called “one-touch, make-ready,” (OTMR) this process speeds and reduces the cost of broadband deployment by allowing the party with the strongest incentive—the new attacher—to prepare the pole quickly, rather than spreading the work across multiple parties.

By some estimates, one-touch, make-ready alone could result in approximately 8.3 million incremental premises passed with fiber and about $12.6 billion in incremental fiber capital expenditures.  The process will not apply to more complicated attachments, or above the “communications space” of a pole, where safety and reliability risks are greater, but the Order improves current processes for attachments in these spaces.

The FCC also addressed two forms of state and local regulatory barriers to the deployment of wireline and wireless facilities.  The Report and Order makes clear that the FCC will preempt, on a case-by-case basis, state and local laws that inhibit the rebuilding or restoration of broadband infrastructure after a disaster.  And in a Declaratory Ruling, the FCC made clear that blanket state and local moratoria on telecommunications services and facilities deployment are barred by the Communications Act because they, in the language of Section 253(a), “prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.”

Action by the Commission August 2, 2018 by Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling (FCC 18-111).  Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, and Carr approving.  Commissioner Rosenworcel approving in part and dissenting in part.  Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.  WC Docket No. 17-84; WT Docket No. 17-79.

If you or your business have legal questions or concerns regarding communications law, computer law, privacy, or cybersecurity law matters, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices.

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ATF releases 2018 Report on Firearm Commerce in the United States (Numbers, Bar Graphs, and Pie Charts!)

ATF has released its annual Firearms Commerce in the United States Statistical Update for 2018. As my one friend put it, “Let the nerdery begin.” To be fair, you have to be pretty nerdy to enjoy this stuff, hence me writing about it.

The Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) is only current through 2016. This is because AFMER data is not published until one year after the close of a calendar reporting year because the information provided by those whole filed a report is protected from immediate disclosure by the Trade Secrets Act. Which is why you see a two year lag (2016 data reporting in the beginning of 2017 and a year delay between its reporting and publication).

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In 2016, there were a total of 11,497,441 firearms manufactured. This was up from 2015’s number of 9,358,661 by about 20%. The number of exports was up from the previous year by about 9%, from 343,456 in 2015 to 376,818 in 2016.

The total number of imports fell from 5,137,771 in 2016 to 4,492,256 in 2017 (imports are not included not the AFMER report which is why the numbers are more current). Once again, the number of handguns imported accounts for over half the total number of firearms imported.

For those of you NFA junkies, in 2017, there was $6,371,000 in occupational taxes paid (SOTs). This is up again from the year prior and slightly under double that of 2012. Taxes paid were $22,972,00 for 2017, about a third of what was paid in 2016 ($62,596,000). Interestingly, there were 6,749 record checks, which means that ATF searched the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) that many times to determine if a firearm was possessed lawfully or if the transfer was performed lawfully. That number is up 202 times from 2016.

In 2017, there were 40,444 Form 1s and 184,312 Form 4s filed. These numbers were different from the year prior, but not by a significant margin for the Form 1s (Form 1s were down by about 9,000 but Form 4s were up about 51,000). The total number of forms processed by the NFA Branch was down about a million from the year prior. 2017 number look similar to that of 2014 and 2015.

As far as NFA firearms registered by state, Texas still leads with 637,612. Florida follows with 377,2017. California (thanks Hollywood), Virginia and Pennsylvania round out the top 5. Florida leads the charge with registered machine guns, sitting at 44,484. Texas has an astonishing 265,597 registered silencers. Florida is the next closest with 98,972 registered silencers.

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There are currently 55,588 licensed collectors of curios or relics, making it the most popular license type. It is followed closely by dealer in firearms, of which there are 56,638 active licenses. ATF reports 136,081 total active licenses (across the spectrum). Texas holds 10,920 of those licenses, making it the state with the most.

In 2017, 17 license applications were denied. This number is up exactly one from the year prior. As for compliance inspections, ATF performed 11,009 last year. This equates to 8.09% of all licensees in 2017 being inspected.

As always, the annual report helps give some insight as to ongoings within the firearms industry.

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Court Filings In Pennsylvania v. Defense Distributed – An Interesting Look Behind The Scenes…

Earlier today, I blogged about the numerous news reports that an injunction had been sought against Defense Distributed, et al. and that Defense Distributed, et al. agreed to make “its sites unaccessible to Pennsylvania users,” however, at that time, there was no docket for the case. As a docket has now been generated with the filings, it is interesting to see what was actually filed in this matter, which is docketed as Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., v. Defense Distributed, et al., 2:18-cv-03208 and assigned to the Honorable Paul S. Diamond, a President George W. Bush nominee.

Defense Distributed Docket.jpg

As we already knew, Governor Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro and the Pennsylvania State Police filed a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, which was rendered moot, per the Court’s Order, “in light of Defendants’ agreement to refrain from posting new information and to block all challenged information from being accessed in Pennsylvania.”

What may be more interesting to our viewers is the behind-the-scenes look at the 35 page email exchange on Sunday regarding this matter and how, in allegedly emergent situations, the court can schedule hearings in a very prompt manner, regardless of date or time. I find it interesting that when challenged by Professor/Attorney Blackman in relation to the Commonwealth having witnesses which were not disclosed to him or his clients in advance, the Commonwealth argument is “We certainly have not tried to ambush you, Mr. Blackman — we have just been busy.” I guess being busy must have meant preparing a press release and twitter account postings, in advance of the hearing, so that they’d be ready to be published immediately after the hearing. Defense Distributed would be well-advised to prepare for these types of shenanigans throughout the proceedings…

If your constitutional rights have been violated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 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.

 

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Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro Violate Pennsylvania Residents’ First and Second Amendment Rights in Precluding Access to 3D Gun Files

Numerous news agencies are reporting that Governor Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro and the Pennsylvania State Police yesterday filed an emergency motion in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Defense Distributed, DEFCAD, Ghost Gunner and Cody Wilson, to preclude access to their websites by Pennsylvania residents and that Defense Distributed, et al., agreed to make “its sites unaccessible to Pennsylvania users,” all in violation of the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, not to mention the numerous violations of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Although the article mentions a press release being sent out by the AG Shapiro’s Office, the AG’s website has no mention of the press release, PACER does not yet list such a matter in the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania and a recently found Complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief is dated July 30, 2018 (i.e. for today). Of course, in an emergency situation, it would not be unusual for a motion for a restraining order to be made in advance of a complaint being filed.

As you can see from the Complaint, Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro make multiple false statements about both the factual background (e.g. that the Defense Distributed “provide[s] guns to residents of the Commonwealth”) and the law (e.g. that electronic data constitutes a firearm and that the UFA or GCA regulate data). More importantly, there are numerous ways to challenge this action, including my hope that Defense Distributed, et al., files a counterclaim under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1988 for violation of their constitutional rights and that Governor Wolf and AG Shapiro can explain to the residents of the Commonwealth, why the taxpayers have been hit with a several hundred thousand dollar attorney fee award.

If your constitutional rights have been violated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 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.

 

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Governor Wolf Introduces Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation Patients

by Karl Voigt

This week, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf launched opioid prescribing guidelines for workers’ compensation claimants, citing the opioid epidemic as its impeller. The Governor stated that Pennsylvania ranks third highest in the nation in the percentage of injured workers who become long-term opioid users. To counter that trend, these guidelines, which are not intended to replace clinical judgment, would advise doctors in the treatment of not just acute or post-surgical pain, but also chronic pain. To view the guidelines, click here.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court AFFIRMS Decision Imposing Financial Judgment Against the Pennsylvania State Police for Violating Second Amendment Rights!

Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order in Haron v. PSP, 65 MAP 2017, affirming the Commonwealth Court’s decision entering a judgment of approximately $6,500 against the Pennsylvania State Police (“PSP”) for erroneously denying an individual his right to keep and bear arms, in an issue of first impression that was litigated by Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Adam Kraut. We previously blogged about the Commonwealth Court’s decision, when we were successful in securing that initial decision. Thereafter, the PSP appealed to the PA Supreme Court.

Today, seemingly finding that the PSP’s appeal was frivolous and didn’t even warrant time being spent to write a decision, the PA Supreme Court issued the Per Curiam Order simply stating “AND NOW, this 18th day of July, 2018, the order of the Commonwealth Court is hereby AFFIRMED.” As such, we will be filing a motion with the Court for additional attorney fees and costs incurred by Mr. Haron during the PSP’s appeal to the PA Supreme Court. Hopefully, this decision will cause the PSP to reconsider its tactic of denying individuals and forcing them to incur attorney fees and costs in matters, where the individual is not prohibited under the law.

If your rights have been denied during the purchase/transfer of a firearm or have been otherwise violated by the PSP, 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.

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FICG/Prince Law Offices, P.C.’s Bi-Annual Machinegun Shoot – October 20, 2018!

Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG)®, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., will be hosting our twelfth bi-annual machine gun shoot at Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun Club on October 20, 2018, in celebration of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution, and Article 1, Section 21 of the PA Constitution. Eastern Lancaster Rod and Gun Club is located at 966 Smyrna Road, Kinzers, PA 17535. It will start at 11am and go until 4pm. From 11am until 2:30pm, it will be unsuppressed and suppressed fire. From 2:30pm until 4pm, only suppressed fire will be allowed. Come on out and meet FICG Chief Counsel and your PA Firearms Lawyer, Joshua Prince, as well as, as other FICG attorneys!

Everyone, over 18 years of age, is welcome to attend. We are sorry but the insurer will not allow anyone under 18 to participate. There will be a small area for observers, under the age of 18, to watch the shoot. The only requirement is that you bring a driver’s license and hearing and eye protection. All attendees will be required to sign a waiver.

There will be several dealers and manufacturers in attendance and which will have some unique firearms for rent that you might not otherwise have an opportunity to shoot. We are still waiting for confirmation of the dealers that will be in attendance and will update this blog, as they confirm. While you are welcome to bring your own firearms and ammunition, it will be up to the owner of the firearm as to whether he/she will permit you to use your ammunition in his/her firearm. The FFLs will be bringing ammunition for purchase, if you need additional or if they require certain types of ammunition to be used in their weapon systems.

Update 1: Tri-State Tactical will be in attendance with an Mp5, Mp5k, Mp5sd
Ak, M16, Ar15 7” Hera cqr auto, Uzi, Pps-50 .22, Pps-43c, Ar9, FAL, M1a carbine and
Hk Ump.

Also, Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun will be making food and have drinks available, at extremely reasonable prices. There will be breakfast available again this time starting around 9am! Most attendees at the last shoot couldn’t get over how the Club could make any money on the food sold!

All attendees MUST RSVP. To RSVP via facebook, please go here. If you do not have Facebook, please contact our Tammy Taylor, at ttaylor@princelaw.com.

We are requiring that each person donate at least $10 to the Eastern Lancaster County Rod and Gun Club for their generous permission to use their range. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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