The criticisms of state Rep. Rick Saccone's column “Fix Pa. firearms background-check process” in the letter “Keep PICS” by Rob Conroy, CeaseFirePA's Western Pennsylvania regional director, reveal his organization's shortsightedness and continuing factual distortions as to how the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) functions and the advantages of the National Instant Check System (NICS).
Facts publicly aired in numerous state legislative hearings have established that both NICS & PICS check all databases except the PFA/domestic violence Pennsylvania database. State prohibitors also are uploaded into the national system and Pennsylvania has uploaded more records into NICS than any other state. These facts alone make PICS an expensive redundancy, at best, were it not also for the accompanying mistakes, errors and violations of civil liberties that occur daily.
Additionally, Mr. Conroy (whose quoted numbers are inaccurate) avoids concerns over erroneously arrested individuals as well as the troubling picture of individuals who 20 or 30 years ago were not considered firearms-prohibited but are today because of reinterpretations of old minor crimes. Conroy calls these individuals “fugitives,” yet many cases reveal questionable interpretations of prior crimes.
Further, it is important to note that CeaseFirePA is silent on PICS violations of law and of law-abiding citizens' individual liberties. As an example, nothing in Conroy's misleading diatribe addresses the fact that thousands of denials are reversed! The question he won't ask is why so many mistakes are being made! PICS has outlived its usefulness.
The writer is chairman of Firearms Owners Against Crime (foac-pac.org).
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.