Gun Rights Under Fire

PUBLISHED: 6:16 PM 24 Sep 2018

Pennsylvania Preparing To Undermine Second Amendment Due Process

Two bills in the state legislature could change the way that firearms owners are treated in court and by the law.

Pennyslvania's House of Representatives will spend the next two days discussing and debating a pair of bils which seek to undermine Second Amendment rights and due process.

Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, leftists around the United States have been pushing harder than ever before for a number of gun control measures. These measures, none of which would have prevented the shooting, were mostly designed to target gun owners and their right to due process.

In Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives is slated to spend today and tomorrow reviewing and considering a pair of gun-control laws. These laws, which were tabled in June, would only serve to undermine the due process rights of Americans who dare to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The sneaky ‘protection’ bill received almost no attention in local media, leading some to wonder whether or not the Kavanaugh debacle lent cover to a final press for this legislation.

The laws are known as House Bill 2060 and House Bill 2227.

HB 2060 was written to ‘update’ Pennsylvania laws concerned with relinquishing firearms when ordered to because of various ‘orders’ placed against a person, such as a ‘protection from abuse’ order.

If passed into law, the measure would cause a number of changes. One of the most arduous and difficult changes to comply with is one that would require compliance within 24 hours, or one day.

If a protection from abuse (PFA) order were issued against a person, that person would be provided, under this law, with a whopping 24 hours to turn their firearms over to the city/county/state government or to a ‘commercial armory.’ They would not have time to fight the claim.

Failure to hand over all firearms, ‘weapons,’ and ammunition would result in up to six months of time in prison.

It also would alter existing law to completely circumvent the idea of ‘third party surrender.’

The ‘third party surrender’ process allowed citizens to turn over their firearms to family members, friends, or another ‘third party’ who they knew and who was able to legally possess the firearms. It ensured that the firearms were probably cared for, and allowed storage without requiring payment.

When the PFA or other temporary order that disqualified an individual from owning firearms expired, their weapons would be returned by the third party.

Now, there are only a handful of legal ways that the accused (who may or may not be convicted of some wrongdoing) can store their firearms after being ordered to surrender them.

They can hand them over to the appropriate local law enforcement agency, for example.

They can also transfer them to a ‘commercial armory,’ which is basically a person or business with an FFL.

Of course, these ‘commercial armories’ won’t store firearms for free, out of the goodness of their hearts. People who have a PFA order issued against them will have to pay to keep these firearms properly stored for up to five years.

HB 2227 is more concerned with undermining the idea of due process for gun owners.

This measure would essentially ensure that, if reported by certain ‘classes’ of people, a legal gun owner would have their right to keep and bear arms restricted and their firearms removed from their ownership, completely absent any semblance of due process.

If an individual would like to have their firearms returned and their rights restored, they would effectively have to sue the local jurisdiction to do so, a costly and complex process.

Essentially, it would turn certain accusations into the equivalent of civil asset forfeiture of their firearms, and would require that, absent due process, the onus would be on the accused to disprove claims made against them.

The bill would also expand the list of people who could file a complaint to have firearm rights stripped from citizens of Pennsylvania. These changes would allow former domestic partners, spouses, and significant others to file such an allegation.

Some people understand that this means a disgruntled ex would have the ability to strip the Second Amendment rights from their former mate.

These two laws were thrust back onto the agenda due to the influence of Pennsylvania Speaker of the House, Representative Turzai.

Turzai, a republican, has a somewhat spotty record on Second Amendment issues, and has long received funding from the left-leaning Pennsylvania State Education Association (a large teacher’s union in the state).

Perhaps that could explain his decision to push legislation that is completely contrary to the republican plank, usual attitudes in the party on firearms and the right to keep and bear them, and why he appears to be so interested in pushing leftist legislation.

Still, Mike Turzai’s actions simply provide another reason why it is so important that people get out and vote for individuals who will stand up for their rights.

It should also show citizens the importance of paying attention to laws being passed close to home, even when national events could be more intriguing.