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Discussion Starter #1
February 5, 2013





Thank you for contacting me to express your views about protecting your second amendment rights.



The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the constitutions of Pennsylvania and the United States. In my view, these rights represent a coveted freedom and are among those important qualities that have enabled this country to remain a free and democratic one.



In your letter you mentioned strengthening mental health care and collecting better data. I too, believe that we must look at proposals to strengthen our mental health laws so that people receive treatment before they commit criminal acts.



I do not think there is a single cure to the seeming epidemic of gun violence our country has witnessed, of which Newtown is only the latest. Even in countries that have the strictest laws, gun violence and mass murder occur. As some background information for you, Pennsylvania already has a restrictive set of gun laws and regulations that were established under the Uniform Firearms Act approved during the Special Session on Crime in 1995. The act made sweeping changes to the existing laws of the Commonwealth relating to the sale, possession, lending or giving of firearms. For example, this Act significantly changed the law concerning the sale, possession, lending or giving of firearms. Before the new law was enacted, only persons who were convicted of violent crimes could be prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Now, under the new law, the list of offenses prohibiting gun ownership has been expanded to include 37 different crimes, both crimes of violence and serious non-violent crimes.



Another notable aspect of Pennsylvania law, given the Newtown tragedy, is that Pennsylvania law prohibits ownership or purchase of a firearm by any person who undergoes an involuntary emergency mental exam as long as the examining physician certifies the need for ongoing care due to mental illness and by any person who is ordered to undergo extended involuntary emergency treatment after certification by a judge or mental health review officer. Both the National Instant Check System and the Pennsylvania Instant Check System screen potential firearm buyers to determine that they do not have criminal or mental health histories which would prevent their ownership of guns.



Pennsylvania is a "point of contact" state, which means the Commonwealth utilizes its own state background check system, in addition to the federal background check system, to determine if a person may legally purchase a firearm. Please keep in mind that neither system is a registry of people who own guns. Rather, the background check systems are only a record of people who are legally prohibited from purchasing firearms. The Pennsylvania Instant Criminal Background Check System (PICS) includes more than 500,000 mental health records that could prevent a dangerous person from purchasing a firearm.



Given all of the gun control laws already enacted in Pennsylvania, I intend to review any and all gun control proposals with careful scrutiny and to oppose what seems to be unreasonable control of an individual’s right to lawfully possess and use firearms. I believe that well-drafted legislation which is aimed at the criminal misuse of guns, while respecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens under the Second Amendment, and especially increased enforcement efforts is the best way to address illegal gun violence. To this end, I intend to work hand in hand with members of all political parties to support sensible measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the rights of law-abiding Pennsylvania gun owners and sportsmen.



Please also be advised that I am a cosponsor of and plan to support House Bill 357 introduced by Representative Darryl Metcalfe, which would provide that any Federal law which attempts to register, restrict or ban a firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm in this Commonwealth shall be unenforceable in this Commonwealth.



Thank you again for contacting me. If I can be of further assistance to you on any state related matter in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Sincerely,





Sandra J. Major

State Representative

111th Legislative District



SJM/ts









Teri Swanger, Administrative Assistant to

Rep. Sandra J. Major, Majority Caucus Chairman

PA House of Representatives

Room 120, Main Capitol Building

Post Office Box 202111

Harrisburg, PA 17120-2111

Phone: 717-783-2910

Fax: 717-783-2010
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Mind you, this woman co sponsored the PA state bill that will say NO to The Regime's potential bill. She says NO. She and I are friends.
 

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Wow, someone that understand the issue. And a politican at that.

Very rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bluetick said:
Wow, someone that understand the issue. And a politican at that.

Very rare.
Please also be advised that I am a cosponsor of and plan to support House Bill 357 introduced by Representative Darryl Metcalfe, which would provide that any Federal law which attempts to register, restrict or ban a firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm in this Commonwealth shall be unenforceable in this Commonwealth.

Indeed. She's very cool.
 

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Would you expect something different from a good ol country girl from Susquehanna county......
 

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The most surprising thing is, she took the time to write a letter than actually provided clear logic and understanding of the issue being discussed.

Most legislators, at all levels, develop a form letter on an issue, rarely on a separate bill.


I can only hope that we demand the same from other elected to respond in this fashion. For the record, those with us... and those against us.

It is, after all, what we and our system demands of those sent to represent us.
 
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