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Gun law won't scare scarecrows
York Daily Record ^ | 15 January, 2009 | NA

Posted on 01/18/2009 5:49:41 AM PST by marktwain

The Scarecrow wasn't exactly a genius -- that's why the straw man wanted a brain. Likewise, it seems that most "straw purchasers" -- people who buy guns for bad guys -- have heads more full of hay matter than gray matter.

And so you have to wonder: Does York city really need a complicated new law to torch them?

That's the question before the York City Council next week. Members are scheduled to vote on an ordinance requiring people to report lost or stolen guns within 72 hours after they discover them missing.

Maybe that seems like common sense -- hardly the kind of thing you'd need a law for. Good citizens who have legally purchased firearms would be foolish not to call police if their guns are stolen. That's just what you do when something gets stolen.

But should it be illegal to fail to do so? Should we run the risk of criminalizing people who, say, have a gun stolen, perhaps by "friends" or family members, who don't even know their weapons are missing, if they fail to report the loss or theft?

Isn't that a little like victimizing the victim?

And how would police sort out who knew what when in trying to enforce such a law? No doubt, in some cases it could be done, but not in all instances.

Granted, this proposal is well-intentioned -- the idea is to go after people with clean records who help arm drug dealers.

But that's already illegal.

And you have to wonder how much of a deterrent such a law would be: People who would help arm drug dealers or other criminals are idiots and criminals-in-the-making themselves. Are they going to be deterred by such a law? Doubtful.

It seems more likely that some innocent gun owners will be unjustly prosecuted.

That said, people who exercise their right to bear arms also bear a moral responsibility to keep them safely away from others. They should be stored unloaded and locked in safes, not under the bed or in a cookie jar where kids or others can easily get hold of them. Loaded, unsecured weapons in the house are far more likely to be instruments of tragic accidents than self-defense.

Finally, some have noted that such an ordinance would exceed the bounds of state law and would likely be challenged and overturned in court -- possibly an expensive legal odyssey for a financially challenged city.

It's just not worth the hassle and potential costs on the off-chance such a law would scare off some idiot scarecrow straw purchaser.


The proposed law regarding lost and stolen firearms will be considered by the York City Council at its next meeting, which starts 7 p.m. Jan 21.

Meetings are held in city council chambers, on the third floor at 1 Marketway West in York.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: antigun; banglist; guncontrol; york
I can't do better than this comment at the site:

This editorial barely mentioned the legal issue. If this type of law is out of bounds for our council, then why isn't that the most important part of the story? York City Council members can be tried for conspiracy if they vote for this law.

It is obvious that the law is not going to deter those that are making straw purchases.

The same people that are calling this law a "tool" were the same people that told us the shotspotter was a tool.

I was at the meeting and spoke against this law. It was very clear that the agenda is anti-gun and any gun law is a good law. The people that are behind this law are blaming the guns for the crime. They seek to add a stigma to gun ownership and try to disuade you from making your purchase. The $1000.00 penalty for not reporting a gun is going to weigh against someone's decision to purchase a gun that may only be $300.00. This law seeks to threaten and keep low income people from excersising their rights by threatening fees and jail time.

This editorial is weak. It plays cute word games with straw man and straw purhcases but it simply glazes over the arrogance of a council trying to pass laws it doesn't have permission to make. The editorial glazes over the threatening thousand-dollar economic penalty that will only effect the low income members of our community.

Mayor Brenner, Commissioner Whitman, and Toni Smith are sponsoring this bill in an attempt to punish gun owners. To them, guns are bad and gun ownership is frowned upon.

1 posted on 01/18/2009 5:49:42 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain
Granted, this proposal is well-intentioned -- the idea is to go after people with clean records who help arm drug dealers.

I firmly believe that nearly all gun laws are not well-intentioned, they are made-up excuses to infringe.

2 posted on 01/18/2009 6:03:33 AM PST by umgud (I'm really happy I wasn't aborted)
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To: marktwain

It also needs to lose the garbage at the end about accidents and how they should all be stored in a useless state. Must not have paid attention to Heller because its one explicit point was that the government can’t require people to render their arms functionless and still pretend they have a 2nd Amendment and can protect themselves.

Lock up your range queens and collectors, but keep your protection gun within reach. You’re never going to get from your room to the basement safe, fish out a key, free your gun, fish out another key, free your ammo, and assemble and load your gun when some crackhead decides to break in.

3 posted on 01/18/2009 6:10:21 AM PST by BobbyT
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To: marktwain
This country would never have existed if these kind of things were required of it's citizens.

Everyone during the 1800's and before had a shotgun, rifle or (before that) a musket over the fire place (loaded) and ready for self defense or simply a place to put it for later use to hunt food.

They probably had zero accidents by doing this because...

1. There kids were taught the dangers of misusing it as well as how to safely handle it.

2. Very young family members and friends of family were smart enough not to handle them because of the strict discipline that would happen if they were caught picking one up.

As for the weapons being stolen...

That was a chance they were willing to take. If stolen, they probably knew who they were and simply hunted them down and retrieved them one way or the other (most of the time without the sheriff getting involved)

No registration, no trace of who owned the weapons were required. Most homes had a weapon and almost ALL of the bad guys knew and avoided breaking in since the owners had access to them at a moments notice.

Oh, for the good ol' days (as Archie would sing) when "girls were girls and men were men"

4 posted on 01/18/2009 6:18:30 AM PST by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
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To: marktwain
Loaded, unsecured weapons in the house are far more likely to be instruments of tragic accidents than self-defense.

Brady Bunch agitprop.

5 posted on 01/18/2009 6:26:37 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: BobbyT

This is against sstate law and would be unenforceable
§6120. Limitation on Municipal Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition.
(a) General rule.—No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
(b) Definition.—For the purposes of this section, the term “firearms” has the meaning given in section 5515 (relating to prohibiting of paramilitary training) but shall not include “air rifles” as defined in section 6304 (relating to sale and use of air rifles).
(Chgd. by L.1988, Act 158(2); L.1994, Act 84(1), effJ 12/3/94.)

§6119. Violation Penalty.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, an offense under this subchapter constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. (Chgd. by L. 1989, Act 68(2), eff 2/5/90.)

6 posted on 01/18/2009 6:50:51 AM PST by mombrown1 (PA Coordinatior SAS The Second Amendment is the reset button for the Constitution)
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To: marktwain

There are more people buying guns now than ever, people I know that I never expected are buying. I just hope they join the NRA.

7 posted on 01/18/2009 8:35:31 AM PST by culpeper ( When traitors are called heroes, dark times have fallen - Roland Deschain)
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To: marktwain

And sadly, I live here.

8 posted on 01/18/2009 11:52:50 AM PST by wastedyears (In Canada, Santa says "Ho Ho, eh?")
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To: Evil Slayer
America wouldn't exist if the British succeeded in disarming the colonists.
9 posted on 01/18/2009 12:05:57 PM PST by wastedyears (In Canada, Santa says "Ho Ho, eh?")
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