Skip to comments.PA gun activists fuming over planned state instant check shutdown
Posted on 05/07/2012 9:55:12 AM PDT by marktwain
Pennsylvania gun owners are furious about a planned 60-hour shutdown of the state instant check system (PICS) later this month so the State Police can upgrade its fingerprint system.
While a press release says the shutdown will temporarily restrict the purchase of firearms and negate the ability to obtain criminal history checks, an earlier important notice from Major Martin L. Henry III put it more bluntly.
During this time, Henry said, all calls will be forwarded to an operator and placed in an undetermined or denied status. Undetermined status queries will not be processed until after the system is back online, Tuesday May 22, 2012. Although PICS will continue to process calls, it is recommended that firearms dealers and county sheriffs hold calls until the system is fully operational.
In accordance with federal and state laws, the memo continues, there can be no transfer of firearms or license to carry concealed permits issued without a unique approval number. No approval numbers will be issued by PICS until full access to the system is restored.
TGM contacted Major Henry, but he refused to discuss the situation. Instead, he referred our inquiry to the State Police public information office, which has not returned our call.
Weighing into this controversy, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued a statement early Monday criticizing the looming shutdown, callig it inexcusable.
Closing down the background check system, and thus suspending all firearms transactions and concealed carry license processing simply allows the Pennsylvania State Police to obstruct the gun rights of law-abiding citizens, said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. We are not reassured by a promise from the agency that it will expedite this computer system update in order to restore service as soon as possible. Access to the computers for background checks should not be suspended at all.
Gottlieb said the State Police should be able to find an alternate means of processing firearms transactions and carry permit applications while the upgrade is in progress.
The looming shutdown will almost certainly be discussed during a planned Tuesday Second Amendment rally at the state capitol, noted veteran gun rights activist Kim Stolfer.
The annual Right to Keep and Bear Arms rally is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 8 in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg. Several organizations will be represented including Firearm Owners Against Crime, PA Federation of Sportsmens Clubs, PA Association of Firearms Retailers, PA Rifle and Pistol Association, Eastern Pennsylvania Firearms Coalition, PA Gun Collectors Association, Gun Owners of America, Allegheny County Sportsmens League, Beaver County Sportsmens Conservation League, National Shooting Sports Foundation, NRA, Second Amendment Sisters, Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, PA Sportsmens Association, and many other groups and pro-Second Amendment state lawmakers.
Stolfer told TGM that Keystone State gun owners actually want to be rid of the PICS system, and that a recent public hearing was abruptly cancelled.
Our organization, said Stolfer, referring to Firearms Owners Against Crime, has never favored the state-run system because of the track record of the State Police on gun issues.
The last time that the State Police shut the system down was in 2007, and the upgrade was finished faster than anticipated.
But that offers no reassurance this time around.
We live in an age when computer upgrades should be accomplished considerably faster, CCRKBAs Gottlieb said. Locking down such a vital system that is important to so many Pennsylvania residents for 60 hours is not an inconvenience, its an outrage.
It is crazy to set up a huge expensive bureaucratic system, require everyone to jump though hoops and prove that they are *not* criminals in order to try, ineffectively, to prevent the few individuals who are not responsible, from having legal access to guns. This is a failed paradigm, and it should be abandoned. To accept the idea that the all gun sales should be monitored by the government, and only allowed to those it deems satisfactory is fundamentally wrong.
The entire idea of the enterprise has always been the death of a thousand cuts, where the restrictions on who can buy, and where, and how and what are continually increased until the number of gun owners is reduced to political insignificance.
Oops..the 60 hours will turn into 60 days...oops again, now it will be after the election. By then, gun and ammo prices will be too high for anyone but the government and Obama’s buddies to purchase.
But if the gov’t gets shut down for a few hours, it is a travesty!
Has PA ever shut down the state welfare system for a computer upgrade?
This is a lie of an excuse, with no technical justification.
How many computer systems are upgraded without a 60 hour shutdown?
Answer: All of them!
Pennsylvania this week...Ohio next week...Florida next month...
There’s nothing to worry about here...they are simply upgrading the system so that when Obama becomes a dictator they can easily round up all gun owners and with the upgrade, all family members and relatives too.
The system will easily integrate with Holder’s criminals and be able to refuse issuance to anyone, whether or not they have a “real” criminal record or not. If not, Holders goons will make one for them.
It’s a brave new world out there today.
if Fast Eddie Rendell were still running the show here I’d completely believe that would be how it would go.
My fiancee works for a major insurance company. Their computer servers operate a ‘virtual testing environment’ so that they can (hopefully) fully test new software before ‘going live’. This is the way it’s done.
Why, naturally. And if it should take longer than that, well, I guess we law-abiding citizens are just out of luck, right? Hey, could take years. Maybe forever.
There remain, of course, private sales, which is precisely why the gun-control zealots are so hot on "closing the gun-show loophole," i.e. forcing all transactions through a system that just happens to break now and then, and whose data is subject to "accidental" copying, for backup purposes only, you know, and the BATF would never look at it because that would be illegal, except that they just did illegally in Texas.
There is no good faith in this arena. There are only lies, swindling, and betrayal, and negotiating with these people is an exercise in futility.
I have been involved with many full system replacements for various client companies in my time working as a Hardware CE. We ALWAYS pre-staged AND TESTED the new equipment prior to the change-over. None of the change-overs took more than 8 hours to reconnect to the outside networks - one was done in 20 minutes. Methinks the State is passing on the screwing they're getting!
Ummm yeah, keep believing that one. Then go have a gander at the gamer boards and realize that weekly downtimes of 8-12 hours are the norm, and occasional ones between a full day and a *week*.
*Not* that I’m justifying restriction of a Constitutional right, but this isn’t the first, last, or only upgrade to require a healthy chunk of downtime to get right. The system is in place and at least for now it’s not going away, so getting it right in one try is the best bet.
Hmm...PA doesn’t use fingerprints to issue concealed carry permits or firearms transfers. The State Police have been keeping an illegal database of firearm transfers for years in defiance of state and federal law. The PASC told them to cut it out the SP aid FU.
There's a difference between systems that are administered professionally and systems that are administered on a "hope-for-the-best" basis. Long switch-over times are characteristic of the latter, not the former.