Tag Archives: ordinance

Strattanville Borough Declines To Move Forward With Firearm Discharge Ordinance

As our viewers are aware, we previously blogged about Strattanville Borough’s proposal to enact a firearm discharge ordinance, which resulted in Firearm Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., submitting a letter written in opposition on behalf of Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) by Chief Counsel Joshua Prince.

Last night, Strattanville Borough voted, 5-2, not to move forward with the firearm discharge ordinance due to the legal ramifications and FOAC preparedness to institute legal proceedings against the Borough, if it moved forward with any form of firearm or ammunition regulation.

Please join us in congratulating FICG and FOAC in this accomplishment!

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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FICG On Behalf of FOAC Files Letter In Response To Strattanville Borough’s Proposed Illegal Firearm Ordinance

Yesterday, it was reported by Reporter Scott Shindledecker of ExploreClarion.com that Strattanville Borough was considering enacting an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms in the borough.

Borough Solicitor Ralph L.S. Montana was quoted as saying that he has his work cut out for him because “[t]here aren’t too many places in Pennsylvania that have firearms ordinances.” Maybe that is due to the fact that municipal firearm and ammunition regulation is unlawful pursuant to Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, as affirmed by the PA Supreme Court in Ortiz v. Commonwealth, and our state preemption statute found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120.

Although Solicitor Montana was unwilling to share a copy of his proposed ordinance before submitting it to the Borough Council on Wednesday, August 9th at 7 PM, he did mention that he found Rose Valley Borough’s [unlawful] ordinance, which this ordinance would be based upon.

As a result, Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., on behalf of its client, Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), filed a letter in opposition to the proposal; wherein, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince explains the constitutional and statutory protections and case law precluding such regulation. In the event Strattanville Borough moves forward with the proposal, FOAC is prepared to file a legal challenge against the Borough and request the District Attorney to file criminal charges for violations of Section 6120.

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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Allentown RTKL Response to Illegal Firearm Regulation Proposals

As many of our viewers are aware, I frequently submit Right to Know Law (RTKL) requests to municipalities in relation to firearms law matters. After the City of Allentown noticed its intent to propose and adopt new firearm ordinances, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, I filed a RTKL Request seeking information relative to the proposals, including communications related thereto.

Specifically, I requested:

Any letter, email, fax or written communication from any person in the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office or any person from the Office for Solicitor for the City of Allentown relating to any existing or proposed ordinance or regulation relating to firearms or ammunition from January 1, 2008 through the present.  Reporter Emily Opilo recently published an article stating that letters received from District Attorney Martin and Solicitor Wild relating to a proposed ordinance regulating firearms and ammunition were discussed at a meeting on August 17, 2016 – http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-lost-gun-law-committee-20160817-story.html

Today, I received a response from the City approving in part and denying in part my request. In addition to the cover letter, they produced 52 pages of records. While many of the pages are copies of cases, pages 1-2, 45-50 and 51-52 are letters from Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin informing the City, the City Council members and Mayor Ed Pawlowski that any such regulation is unlawful and unconstitutional. While it is extremely refreshing to see a District Attorney actively involved in a firearm and ammunition preemption issue, its unfortunate that no mention was made of the criminality of violating Section 6120, as such would be a misdemeanor of the first degree, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6119, as well as constituting official oppression. Maybe, District Attorney Martin was saving the best for last, in case they elected to move forward with an illegal and unconstitutional regulation.

I, personally, would like to thank and commend District Attorney Martin for immediately and preemptively addressing this issue. Come election time, please always remember that District Attorney Martin is a staunch defender of Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

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

As our viewers are aware, we filed suit against Lower Merion Township regarding its illegal firearm ordinance on March 20, 2015 and its request for a Stay was denied on May 14, 2015. In litigating this matter, on April 30, 2015, I filed a Right to Know Law (RTKL) request seeking documents in the Township’s possession relating to Section 109-16, since the Township filed Preliminary Objections to stay discovery and a decision on the merits.

In responding to my RTKL request, the Township turned over a number of documents, including the most recent attorney billing of May 11, 2015 from High Swartz in the amount of $4,900 and a March 27, 2015 letter from Delaware Valley Insurance Trust denying coverage in relation to the lawsuit. Specifically, the letter states

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, the residents of Lower Merion Township will be responsible for all the costs incurred by its counsel, as well as, our attorney fees and costs, when the matter is decided in our favor. It is unfortunate that the Lower Merion Township Commissioners have elected to defend its illegal ordinance 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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Allentown: Only “Wealthy, White Individuals” Need Apply As Residents

Recently, during the debate over Allentown council’s repeal of its illegal firearm ordinances, Democrat Michael Donovan, a former member of city council who supported Allentown’s lost and stolen gun law, declared that “Allentown is the third largest city in the state” and “It is claiming a renaissance for wealthy, white individuals who wish to be safe.”

Wow, apparently, as some have contended for years, being a wealthy, white person has its perks, which apparently includes not being held accountable and being permitted to violate state law without prosecution. (For those unaware, the regulation of firearms by a municipality, since 1974, has been a misdemeanor of the 1st degree – Where Art Thou Oh Lehigh County District Attorney Martin?).

But, where is the national coverage and outrage over such a blatantly racist comment? Oh, I forgot…it wasn’t said by a Republican, so it isn’t news worthy. Maybe it’s time we change that…

 

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Municipalities Repealing Unlawful Ordinances

As many of our viewers are aware, I have sent 6+ page letters to numerous (over 90) municipalities regarding their unlawful firearm ordinances and the looming effective date of Act 192. I am going to attempt to keep this blog article updated on the status of those municipal ordinances, where the municipality has taken or is taking some form of action (aka, you may want to bookmark this article, if you want to keep track). If we have not yet heard back from the municipality, it will not be listed below.

If any of you wish to donate towards the time and cost invested in obtaining the repeal of these ordinances, it would be greatly appreciated. You can simply call the office at 888-313-0416 and speak with accounting (simply tell them it is in relation to matter 34548) or send a check to Prince Law Offices, P.C., 646 Lenape Rd, Bechtelsville, PA 19505 and simply place “Matter 34548” on the memo line. To all of those who have already donated, we GREATLY appreciate your donations.

Updated 5/12/15

Altoona City: Repealing its unlawful ordinances

Athens Borough: Repealing its unlawful firearm ordinances

Athens Township: Repealed its unlawful firearm ordinances

Bellefonte Borough: Repealed its unlawful ordinances at the December monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors

Brecknock Township: Ordinances to be repealed on January 13th at the monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors

Brookville Borough: Ordinances to be repealed at the January 6th meeting.

Buckingham Township: Ordinances have been repealed.

Bucks County: Will be moving forward with a repeal of its discharge ordinance.

Carroll Township: Repealing their ordinance on April 7, 2015.

Cheltenham Township: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

City of Allentown: Repealed all of their firearm ordinances on 2/4/2015.

City of Bethlehem: Ordinances amended but still do not comply with Section 6120.

City of Erie: The original litigation of Dillon v. City of Erie resulted in the Commonwealth Court finding that the City’s ban on possession of firearms in city parks was unlawful; however, the City has now also repealed its lost and stolen ordinance.

City of Harrisburg: Refusing to rescind its ordinances

City of Reading: Ordinances in the process of being repealed.

College Township: Ordinances in the process of being repealed.

Crescent Township: Repealing its ordinances at the January 8th meeting

Cumru Township: Repealing its Protected Area Ordinance 6/15/15

Dingman Township: In the process of repealing their ordinances.

Dover Borough: Repealing its ordinances.

Doylestown Borough: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

East Vincent Township: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

Elizabethville Borough: Ordinances in the process of being repealed.

Emporium Borough: Reviewing their ordinances and will discuss at their meeting on Feb 2 (repeal expected)

Ferguson Township: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

Greene Township: Ordinances have been repealed

Hanover Township: Ordinances repealed but still working on fixing signs

Hepburn Township: Ordinances to be repealed by the February monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors

Horsham Township: Will be introducing a repeal of their ordinances on January 26th.

Lehigh Township: Ordinances to be repealed in the near future (with the addition of a VERY pro NFA provision, which will be discussed once enacted)

Liberty Borough: Repealed their ordinances on January 19th.

Lower Allen, Cumberland Co: Ordinances repealed 12/22/2014

Lower Heidelberg Township: Ordinances repealed 2/19/2015

Macungie Borough: Ordinances amended but still do not seemingly comply with Section 6120.

Marshall Township: Repealed all of their unlawful firearm ordinances

Morrisville Borough: Ordinances in the process of being repealed.

North York Borough: Repealing their ordinances

Northampton Borough: Repealed its illegal discharge ordinance on March 5th

Oxford Borough: Repealed their ordinance.

Plumstead Township: Ordinances to be repealed on January 5th at the monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors

Richland Township: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

Salisbury Township: Moving forward with drafting an ordinance to repeal their unlawful ordinances.

Sellersville Borough: Ordinance has been amended

Telford Borough: Ordinance No. 405 repealed Ordinance 174 in its entirety and Chapter 6, Conduct, Part 5, Discharge of Firearms on February 2nd.

Tullytown Borough: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

Union Township: Ordinances in the process of being repealed

Warrington Township: Ordinances to be repealed in the near future

Warwick Township: Set to repeal all their firearm regulations on January 19th

Washington County: Repealing its unlawful ordinances.

West Mifflin Borough: Lost and Stolen has been repealed; awaiting confirmation regarding Parks and Rec

Whitehall Township: Although verbiage has been removed from the signs, it is still quasi-visible.

Wilson Borough: Repealed its unlawful ordinances

Worcester Township: Ordinances repealed at December 17, 2014 meeting

Yoe Borough: Ordinances repealed February 3, 2015.

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FICG Files Letter with Borough of Doylestown to Rescind Its Unlawful Firearm Ordinances

Today, Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG)®, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., filed a letter in support of the Borough of Doylestown rescinding its illegal firearm ordinances on behalf of American Gun Owners Alliance (AMGOA), Concerned Gun Owners of PA (CGOPA), Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), Pennsylvanians For Self Protection (PA4SP) and several Borough residents.

As many of our readers are aware, with the passage of HB 80, municipalities will soon be civilly liable for violations of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, in addition to being criminally liable. As a result, the Borough of Doylestown is considering rescinding its illegal firearm ordinances at its meeting on Wednesday, December 10th. Unfortunately, Borough President Ansinn has publicly mocked HB 80 by stating “we’re basically being forced to repeal these laws at gun point. Be sure to ‘thank’ your local state legislators for this ‘common sense’ reform.” It is truly unfortunate that any publicly elected official would support the violation of the Commonwealth’s Crimes Code.

I will keep you advised as I learn what action the Borough of Doylestown will take; however, if you or someone you know is being unlawfully prosecuted pursuant to an unlawful municipal ordinance relating to the regulation of a firearm, please feel free to contact us at 888-313-0416 or info@PrinceLaw.com, so we can discuss your legal options.

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