Enthusiasts cheer Pa. bill to make federal gun ban unenforceable
By Brad Bumsted
Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 1:24 p.m.
HARRISBURG — A week after the U.S. Senate nixed a gun control measure pushed by President Obama, gun advocates in Pennsylvania said they will lobby for a state House bill making any federal law to ban guns unenforceable in Pennsylvania.
H.B. 357, authored by Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry, holds that any federal law that “attempts to register, restrict or ban a firearm or to limit the size of a magazine” would be unenforceable in Pennsylvania.
Lawmakers said 74 legislators co-sponsored the bill, which would make it a felony for any federal, state or local government agent to enforce a federal gun control law restricting gun owners' rights.
Hundreds of gun enthusiasts cheered the lawmakers on Tuesday at a rally on the Capitol steps. Metcalfe used his eighth annual Second Amendment Action Day to promote the bill, filed in January.
Busloads of supporters from Westmoreland, Beaver and Butler counties were among those who attended with dozens of legislators, including several House leaders and a few Western Pennsylvania Democrats.
“Let's move it through,” said Rep. Rick Saccone, a Republican from Elizabeth.
A Duquesne University law school professor said the bill sounds unenforceable.
“I don't want to overstate it, but I think we settled this at Appomattox,” where the South formally surrendered to end the Civil War, said professor Wes Oliver. “That's just crazy,” he said of the bill.
Kansas recently approved a similar bill that exempts Kansas-made guns from federal gun laws, Metcalfe said.
Separately, CeaseFirePA urged lawmakers to enact “common-sense laws” to reduce gun violence.
“Law-abiding gun owners should join in our work,” CeaseFirePa Executive Director Shira Goodman said, “because we are focused on taking steps that keep guns out of the wrong hands and make us all safer.”
At the rally, many in the crowd wore NRA hats, signifying membership in the National Rifle Association, and carried signs with sayings such as, “Don't Tread on Me,” “Stop Obama” and “Pat Toomey, You are Fired.”
Toomey, a Republican U.S. senator from Lehigh Valley, co-sponsored legislation that would have required background checks on rifles and shotguns sold at gun shows and on the Internet. The Senate last week defeated that provision and other gun-control measures.
“The Senate, yes, handed us a victory but the campaign continues on many fronts,” said retired Capt. Sean Parnell of Butler County, an Army Ranger, author of a bestseller “Outlaw Platoon” and featured speaker at the event.
“You're going to send a clear message today,” said Rep. Matt Gabler, a DuBois Republican who filed a bill similar to Metcalfe's that stalled last year.
Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Orpik out, Neal to have phone hearing
- Steelers’ playoff hopes all but gone in loss to Dolphins
- NFL notebook: Denver kicker boots record 64-yard field goal
- Wrestling attendance record falls as Penn State tops Pitt
- Likely loss of Steelers draft pick looms because of Tomlin misstep
- France bound by role in Africa
- Senate Dems to push Obama nominees
- Worst of winter storm expected to miss Pittsburgh
- Seizure of nuns fuels Syrian Christians’ fears
- Penguins’ Orpik taken off ice on stretcher in loss to Bruins
- Rossi: Penguins’ Orpik among select NHLers going without gluten