Tag Archives: FOAC

EXTREMELY CRITICAL ALERT: Gun Control Tidal Wave About to Wreak Havoc on Pennsylvania Gun Owners

Guest Author Kim Stolfer of Firearm Owners Against Crime

The gun control insanity that has gripped much of our nation has finally raised its’ ugly head here in PA. Next week (9/24-9/25) the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, spurred on by Speaker of the House Rep. Turzai, is slated to consider two bills that were tabled in June – HB 2060 & HB 2227.

These are both an affront to our Constitution at the state and federal level. What’s worse is that Republican Leadership KNOWS this just as they know both expand the power of government at the expense of the Due Process rights of the accused with HB 2227 creating an entirely ‘new’ section of law involving suspension of ‘Due Process’.

Over the summer, FOAC has worked diligently to examine both bills with some great attorneys and have attempted to convey this to other groups, gun owners and PA House members. On Thursday (the 20th of Sept.) we were told that a September Surprise (meaning gun owners were being stabbed in the back) was coming and that both HB 2060 & HB 2227 would see floor action on Sept. 24th & 25th respectively.

We have done EVERYTHING we can to stop this freight train but are told that UNLESS YOU (gun owners) speak out and DEMAND leadership pull these bills they WILL PASS. We as a group (gun owners) have been silent TOO DAMN LONG!! NOW we are faced with House Leadership and SE Republicans and a ‘Host’ of anti-gun Democrats who think they can ignore citizens’ rights along with the reality of all the major gun groups rallying around these two gun bills that will severely damage the short and long term rights of all citizens to be treated fairly in the halls of justice.

Below are just a FEW examples of the Flaws and Traps in these bills:
1. IF a PFA is issued on you and you don’t turn in ALL your firearms, other weapons ‘and’ ammunition within 24 hours you will go directly to jail for 6 months (HB 2060)
2. Completely ELIMINATES your ability to go to court and use the 3rd Party process to ‘legally’ surrender your firearms to a ‘friend or family’ member to keep them for you until the PFA is terminated (HB 2060)
3. Forces you to pay a storage fee on EACH gun kept at a gun dealer or ‘commercial armory’ for up to FIVE years (HB 2060)
4. Buy a gun, get reported and have your gun seized without ‘due process’ THEN to challenge this you MUST spend thousands of dollars on an attorney to go to court and ‘prove’ your innocence (HB 2227)
5. Lose your rights by being reported by even decades old acquaintances and your property seized ‘without due process’ and forced to spend thousands of dollars on an attorney to go to court and ‘prove’ your innocence (HB 2227)

See also Attorneys Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut’s Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on these issues, as well!

The Talking Points on this legislation can be found below:
HB 2227 – https://foac-pac.org/uploads/talking_points/A-HB-2227-Extreme_Risk_Protection_Orders-FOAC-Review.pdf
HB 2060 – https://foac-pac.org/uploads/talking_points/A-HB-2060_pn3820-FOAC_Language_Problems-Final.pdf

I am going to close with the fact that this legislation is an Existential Threat to our rights and is a TURNING POINT for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We NEED and MUST HAVE your calls, e-mails and ‘presence’ in Harrisburg on Monday and Tuesday!

The straight forward message YOU MUST TELL PA HOUSE MEMBERS is to OPPOSE both bills! No Compromise, no Deals, no Amending either one as their core structure is irredeemably flawed.

Go HERE to find the contact information for EVERY PA HOUSE MEMBER: https://foac-pac.org/PA-Legislator-Info and to find House Committee members you can go here: https://foac-pac.org/PA-House-Committees – we’ve given you the tools so now this is a no ‘excuses’ moment! The apathy of gun owners has put ALL OF US in this predicament and we are now faced with a put up or shut up moment! We have done all we can to stop these bills and NOW it is up to you!!

Yours in Freedom,
Kim Stolfer, President
FOAC

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PRESS RELEASE: Amici Curiae Brief of Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Firearms Owners Against Crime, Firearms Policy Coalition, and Firearms Policy Foundation Filed in Pennsylvania Supreme Court!

Today, in a case that will have a major impact on firearm rights in the Commonwealth, Joshua Prince, Esq., Chief Counsel of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (“FICG®”), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., filed an amici curiae brief (or friends of the court brief) before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of numerous members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Firearm Owners Against Crime (“FOAC”), Firearms Policy Coalition (“FPC”) and Firearms Policy Foundation (“FPF”) in support of Mr. Michael Hicks in the matter of Commonwealth v. Hicks, 56 MAP 2017. You can find a copy of the Amici Curiae brief here.

In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct. Simply put, the PA Supreme Court intends to decide whether law-abiding citizens can be harassed and interrogated by police for merely open or conceal carrying a firearm.

In the event the Court finds that the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of a crime, all conduct, which can be lawful or unlawful, would be sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion – i.e. Pandora’s box would be opened. For example, police would have reasonable suspicion to stop a boy merely walking down the street with a baseball bat, because that baseball bat could be used for either a lawful or unlawful purpose. Even more abhorrent, the police would have reasonable suspicion to stop someone walking down the street with a wallet, because that wallet may have counterfeit bills within it. Maybe the best example is that the police would have reasonable suspicion to stop EVERY motorist, because the motorist may not have a driver’s license, proof of insurance or proof of inspection. We simply cannot permit this ongoing erosion of our inalienable rights.

It is for these reasons and their steadfast devotion to the Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 21 that a number of members of the General Assembly, Firearms Owners Against Crime, Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation decided that it was imperative that an amici curiae brief be filed.

Unfortunately, the cost to prepare this brief was monumental, since it required review of all relevant state and federal court decisions across the United States; thus, if you are in a position to be able to support the preparation of this brief, Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. would greatly appreciate donations, which can be made online through the Firm’s escrow account here – https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/civilrightsdefensefirm/trust. Simply place Hicks Appeal in the reference box.

 


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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Part 2: Lower Merion Township – Taxpayers on the Hook for Legal Expenses related to Illegal Firearms Ordinance

As I reviewed back in May of 2015, the Lower Merion Township taxpayers were already on the hook for approximately $4,900 in legal fees, as a result of its unlawful firearm ordinances.  Although the Commonwealth Court declared the ordinances unlawful and the PA Supreme Court refused to hear the Township’s appeal of the matter, the Township has nevertheless enacted a new discharge ordinance on September 19, 2017 and the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas will hear argument in late-October regarding the Township’s violation of the Commonwealth Court’s decision. While the litigation continues, I was interested in just how much the taxpayer of Lower Merion Township have paid in relation to it, so I submitted another Right to Know Law request. Today, I received their response.

While the billings take some time to calculate, since the prior billings, it appears that another $26,514.44 was paid, resulting in a total attorney fee of over $31,000 through July of this year. It is unfortunate that the Lower Merion Township Commissioners have elected to not only defend their illegal ordinances but also enact new ordinances in violation of the law at the taxpayers expense. If you are a resident of Lower Merion Township, you should let the Commissioners know that you do not appreciate your money being used for their political views.

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Montgomery District Attorney Requested to Investigate and Charge Lower Merion Township for Proposed Firearm Regulation

As our viewers are aware, we became aware on August 30, 2017, that at its upcoming September 19th meeting, Lower Merion Township is considering a new firearm discharge ordinance, even after the Commonwealth Court struck down its current discharge ordinance and held that municipalities may not regulate discharge.

As a result, in a letter sent today, Attorney Joshua Prince formally requested that Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele open an investigation into this matter and file appropriate charges, including for violations of Section 6120 and official oppression.

We hope that District Attorney Steele will take a proactive approach, similar to that of Lancaster County District Attorney Crag Stedman, who recently sent out letters to all law enforcement agencies in Lancaster County advising that municipal regulation of firearms and ammunition is unlawful. Regardless, we would again urge everyone, especially residents and taxpayers in Lower Merion Township, to make the Commissioners aware of your position. The hearing on September 19th will start at 7:30 PM at Township Administration Bldg – 2nd Floor Board Room, 75 East Lancaster Ave, 2nd Floor Board Room Ardmore, Pennsylvania 19003-2323. Their telephone number is 610-649-4000 and you can contact the individual commissioners here.

If your rights have been violated by an illegal firearm or ammunition ordinance or regulation promulgated by a state agency, county, municipality or township, 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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Lower Merion Township Considering Unlawful Firearm Regulation After Losing On The Same Basis – Taxpayers To Be On The Hook!

Today, I became aware that Lower Merion Township is considering a new, unlawful firearm discharge regulation, after having their current discharge provision ruled unlawful by the Commonwealth Court and denied review by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Firearm Owners Against Crime, et al. v. Lower Merion Township, 151 A.3d 1172 (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 2016) (petition for allocatur denied July 11, 2017).

The new, unlawful proposed ordinance provides, in part:

Section 1. The Code of the Township of Lower Merion, Chapter 109 thereof, entitled Parks and Playgrounds, § 109-16, Firearms; fireworks, shall be amended to provide as follows:

§ 109-16. Discharge of a firearm or bow; dangerous athletic implements; fireworks. Township parks shall be posted to prohibit the discharge of a firearm or bow except where authorized by the Board of Commissioners. The promiscuous use in a park of javelins, discuses or similar athletic equipment dangerous in character is prohibited unless used under the direct supervision of an authorized playground supervisor. The use of firecrackers, fireworks or rockets in a park is prohibited.

The proposal is scheduled be voted on September 19, 2017. Unfortunately, it looks like the taxpayers will further be on the hook, if this ordinance is passed for substantial attorney fees and costs. Although I have not received updated amounts of fees incurred by Lower Merion Township in relation to the FOAC, et al v. Lower Merion Township litigation, as I previously wrote, the insurance company denied coverage, stating:

The POL Coverage Part of the applicable Trust Coverage Document does not provide coverage for the Township in this matter because the plaintiffs are not seeking to recover compensatory damages, but only declaratory and injunctive relief, and because the plaintiffs have alleged in their Complaint that the Township willfully violated 18 Pa. C.S. §6120 and otherwise engaged in willful misconduct in refusing to amend or repeal the allegedly illegal ordinances. The Trust therefore respectfully declines coverage and requests that the Township retain defense counsel at its own expense in this matter.

Accordingly, everyone, especially residents and taxpayers in Lower Merion Township, should make the Commissioners aware of your position. The hearing on September 19th will start at 7:30 PM at Township Administration Bldg – 2nd Floor Board Room, 75 East Lancaster Ave, 2nd Floor Board Room Ardmore, Pennsylvania 19003-2323. Their telephone number is 610-649-4000 and you can contact the individual commissioners here.

If your rights have been violated by an illegal firearm or ammunition ordinance or regulation promulgated by a state agency, county, municipality or township, 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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South Heidelberg Township To Require Firearm Renters To Do What?!?!

Over the weekend, it was reported by Reporter Keith Dmochowski of the Reading Eagle that during the South Heidelberg Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Thursday, August 10th, the Board of Supervisors agreed to require C.P. Tactical Solutions Inc. to enter into “a written agreement requiring background checks for gun rentals.” The article goes on to declare:

Solicitor Michael Gombar said that holding C.P. Tactical Solutions Inc. to a signed pledge will ensure that firearms are rented responsibly, despite the fact that background screenings for firearm rentals are not mandated by the township.

More interestingly, Solicitor Gombar further stated, in relation to a question as to why the Township hasn’t enacted an ordinance requiring such background checks of all firearm businesses, that

[t]he concern with putting anything into law is not necessarily that this company will not abide by it, but that the NRA and other gun-rights lobbies make it their point to find municipalities that are setting regulations, and fight them.

Nevertheless, Solicitor Gombar went on to declare that:

the terms of the agreement would allow police and code officers to perform random checks as a safeguard against potential violations…[and] that legal action would be pursued if the shop fails to provide background checks after signing the agreement. (emphasis added).

As a result, Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., filed a letter on behalf of its client, Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), advising that any such agreement would result in felony and misdemeanor violations under the law and that FOAC was considering legal action, if the Township proceeded with the agreement. It appears that Solicitor Gombar and the elected Township Officials have failed to review federal and state law, both of which preclude the use of the background checks system (NICS and PICS, respectively), except in relation to the sale or transfer of ownership of a firearm. As an onsite firearm rental does not constitute a sale or transfer of a firearm, any use of NICS or PICS would be abusive and result in violations of federal and state law. They also appear unaware of the confidentiality provisions of Pennsylvania law, which also provide for civil liability, where confidentiality is breached.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of an unlawful municipal firearm or ammunition regulation or ordinance, contact FICG today to discuss your 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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Major Pennsylvania Firearm Cases of 2016

As the year is coming to a close, I thought it important to document some of the monumental court decisions that Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., obtained in 2016, as well as, some other cases of importance.

We were successful in a monumental case of first impression in obtaining a decision from the Commonwealth Court holding that all license to carry firearms applicant information is confidential and not subject to disclosure. The court held that disclosure through an un-enveloped postcard was a public disclosure.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Childs re-affirmed that the Castle Doctrine is an inalienable/inherent right.

There was the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota that held that a state may not imposed additional criminal sanctions or penalties on someone refusing a breathalyzer or blood draw. Although we were not involved in the Birchfield decision, as a result of the decision, we were able to get numerous individual relief from previously prohibiting convictions and plea deals.

In another case of first impression, we were successful in a Second Amendment as-applied challenge in relation to a mental health commitment. The District Court even declared:

Indeed, Mr. Yox provides the perfect test case to challenge § 922(g)(4), as the illogical contradiction of being able to possess firearms in his professional capacities but not being able to possess a firearm for protection in his own home puts in relief a factual scenario where an as-applied Second Amendment challenge to this statute may succeed.

Indeed, if Mr. Yox were not to succeed on his as-applied challenge, we cannot imagine that there exists any person who could.

In a monumental order, the Superior Court vacated its decision in Commonwealth v. Goslin and ordered re-briefing and argument on whether Mr. Goslin, who merely possessed a lawful pocket knife on school grounds, was entitled to the defense of his possession constituting an “other lawful purpose.” This was after the Superior Court had issued a devastating opinion holding that one could only possess a weapon on school grounds if it related to and was necessitated by the reason the individual was on school grounds. We now await the court’s decision.

The most recent decision was in relation to Lower Merion Township’s illegal firearm ordinances, which precluded individuals from possessing and utilizing firearms in their parks, in direct contravention of Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and our state preemption, found in 18 Pa.C.S. 6120. The Commonwealth Court found that Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) was entitled to an injunction.

These are but a few of the extremely important, pro-Second Amendment, decisions that were rendered this year in Pennsylvania.

If your rights have been violated, contact us today to discuss your options! Together, we can ensure that YOUR constitutional rights aren’t infringed!

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