Duped Or Didn’t Care?

After I posted about the indictment of Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell for theft from her own charity, I began to wonder about her campaign finances. One of the charges against her included failing to file a campaign finance report. What I found was interesting.

Johnson-Harrell was quoted in a fawning story by the Philadelphia Inquirer on her motivation to run for office as saying this:

“I ran because we need the bodies to stop dropping in every city across the nation,” said Johnson-Harrell, 53. “It’s our responsibility as legislators and leaders to do this.”

She made “gun violence” (sic) and gun control a centerpiece of her campaign in the special election. She was already known for having started the Charles Foundation to advocate for more gun control in memory of her murdered son. She was also the Vice Chair of Heeding God’s Call to Eliminate Gun Violence (sic). Thus, it was reasonable to assume she would get support from the gun prohibitionists.

And she did with a stirring endorsement from Everytown.

“After more than a dozen Moms Demand Action volunteers won elected office in 2018, I’m so excited to see yet another strong candidate emerge from our grassroots army of volunteers,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Movita Johnson-Harrell has been invaluable to our Pennsylvania chapter and I have no doubt that she’ll be an incredible leader at the statehouse, too.”

Endorsements are nice but modern campaigns run on money.

  • $500 – Ceasefire PA PAC
  • $250 – Shira Goodman, Executive Director, Ceasefire PA
  • $100 – Shawn Kraemer, President, Ceasefire PA
  • $100 – Bryan Miller, founder, Heeding God’s Call

Johnson-Harrell also received a $1,000 donation from Dana Bazelon of the Soros-bought Philadelphia DA’s Office and a $5,000 donation from the Committee for a Better Tomorrow which is the PAC for the Pennsylvania trial lawyers. She also received substantial donations from a variety of union-affiliated political action committees.

Johnson-Harrell’s financial issues were not a secret. Before she got the nomination by the Philadelphia Democratic Committee, she was grilled on her finances by ward leaders. Moreover, she only got the nomination because the more established candidates had issues with residency.

Going back to the headline, were those anti-gun stalwarts who donated to Johnson-Harrell duped by her? Or, could it have been that despite her known troubled finances, her fur coats, and her Porsche, they just didn’t care because they knew they would have a gun control advocate in Harrisburg? Would it have been, “Yeah, she’s a thief but she’s our thief” and the optics of having an African-American, Muslim woman who had family members murdered outweighed every thing else?

I doubt we will ever know and I know we would not get an honest answer if we asked.

Another Corrupt Anti-Gun Politician Indicted

Pennsylvania State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell (D-Philadelphia) was indicted yesterday on charges stemming from her theft of over $500,000 from a charity she founded.

The Philadelphia Inquirer details Johnson-Harrell’s anti-gun activism in this story.

Alyssa Biederman, Philadelphia Inquirer

The AP notes:

Johnson-Harrell, the first female Muslim member of the House, came to office with the intensely personal story of having endured the shooting deaths of her father, brother, cousin and 18-year-old son. She campaigned on a platform of ending gun violence, and is active in an anti-gun violence foundation named for her son Charles, who was shot to death in 2011.

The criminal complaint against Rep. Johnson-Harrell lists a variety of charges against her. They include two counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, perjury, two counts of tampering with public records, and reporting by candidates and political committees. 

In announcing the charges, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA) said:

Shapiro said the defendant personally spent more than $500,000 from Motivations Education & Consultation Associates, or MECA, on vacations, designer clothing, luxury car payments, real estate purchases, past-due mortgage payments, and other personal expenses.

“When corruption erodes the trust that is built between governmental entities and citizens, no one wins,” Shapiro said. “I’ve said time and time again as Attorney General that no one is above the law, no matter their position of power. And today is no different.”

“Representative Johnson-Harrell continuously diverted Medicaid and social security disability funds from her charity to help Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities for her own personal use. She spent almost $15,000 on clothing, including online shopping sprees at Ralph Lauren and fox fur coats. She traveled to Mexico, Orlando, Georgia and Maryland on lavish trips costing $16,000 of MECA funds,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “She spent $2,000 on overdue car payments on her Porsche. Another $4,000 on tuition for a relative. And, she spent almost $20,000 on overdue mortgage payments.”

Johnson-Harrell earned a salary of $89,000 while serving in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and had left a job with the Philadelphia DA’s Office as a victim’s advocate which paid $104,000 yearly. It is reported that her thefts from MECA continued while she was working for the DA’s Office as well as in her elected position.

According to her official legislative biography, Johnson-Harrell was a community college graduate who went on to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. Reading between the lines, with an age of 53 and her high school diploma date of 1997, she was an adult student when she completed her education. For someone her age, her high school graduation normally would have been in the 1984-85 time period.

Johnson-Harrell was elected in a special election in March to replace Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia). Rep. Brown resigned from office in December 2018 after being sentenced for bribery and other charges. The Attorney General’s Office says Johnson-Harrell will be pleading guilty and will resign from office effective December 13th.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Oklahoma To South Carolina

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My series of Democrat state party platforms on gun control continues with Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. As I have found, some state parties merely adopt the national platform as their own and this continues with this series of states.

Oklahoma

There used to be a tradition of Oklahoma Democrats being strong supporters of the Second Amendment and gun rights. Former Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) is on the NRA Board of Directors and his father Sen. David Boren (D-OK) served on the NRA Board of Directors before him. That was then and this is now. The Oklahoma Democratic Party has adopted the DNC platform with its full agenda of gun control as their own.

Given the state party doesn’t have anything specific to say about gun control, it is important to look at the candidates for governor and attorney. Drew Edmondson is the current attorney general of Oklahoma. His website makes no mention of “gun violence” or “gun safety”. However, he is on record elsewhere as saying that the age to purchase modern sporting rifles should be raised to 21.

Running to replace him as attorney general is Mark Myles. He is an attorney in private practice in Oklahoma City. He says he “Support gun safety and responsible gun ownership.” He then goes on to say:

Gun Safety


I support the Second Amendment and common sense regulations that are constitutional, reasonable, and in accord with the holdings of appellate courts. Guns must be stored safely and they must be out of the hands of the mentally ill. Mark strongly values the opinion of law enforcement and their role in keeping Oklahomans safe, and supports responsible gun ownership across the country.

Hmm. “Common sense regulations” that are in accord with the holdings of appellate courts? I wonder how many Oklahomans are aware that the 9th Circuit has said you don’t have a right to carry outside the home or that the 4th Circuit has ruled that certain semi-automatic firearms and their magazines are outside the Second Amendment.

Oregon

 Moving from a state where politicians and the Democratic Party are circumspect about their intentions for gun control to a state where it is more explicit, the Democratic Party of Oregon’s 2018 platform and legislative priorities call for gun bans (among other things).

From the platform, Article Six – Health Care, Basic Needs, and Gun Safety:

We support the 2nd Amendment and believe that hunting, sport shooting, and safe, responsible gun ownership
are traditions worth preserving for future generations. We thus support comprehensive background checks for all
gun sales and believe in measures to reduce firearm-related violence, injury, death, and to promote public safety…



We support a ban on the civilian sale and purchase of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Their legislative priorities go even further:

4. Ban the sale and purchase of military-grade and assault weapons, such as AR-15s, and
equipment used to modify weapons into assault weapons. Limit magazine capacity
to 10 rounds. Raise the minimum age of long gun purchases from 18 to 21. Fund and
implement buy-back programs for those weapons and magazines.



6. Repeal the Dickey Amendment and resume public research into gun violence in the
United States and fund comprehensive research to form evidence-based gun ownership
and use controls.

The Oregon Democrats have a number of caucuses including a Gun Owners Caucus. Reading their mission seems to be a mess of contradictory objectives. While they say they will push for a pro-2A legislative agenda, they then say they will support Democrats in office and those that are nominees. Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) is a strong proponent of gun control having signed many gun control bills and calling for more. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-OR) is likewise a strong proponent of gun control. Those in the Gun Owners Caucus really can’t have it both ways. As it is, they seem to function more as a fig leave for the gun prohibitionists than anything else.



Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party doesn’t have a platform on their website and Ballotpedia says they adopt the DNC platform. Their “issues” page does not address anything dealing with firearms, gun control, or even gun safety (sic).

Thus, let’s look at what Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) says he wants on gun control. Like the party, he doesn’t put gun control items on is campaign website. That said, he is where he stands according to the York Daily Record.

Here’s what Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said and done about gun control and the Second Amendment.


Wolf has supported:

  • expanding background checks to cover private sales of long guns, including shotguns and rifles;
  • banning bump stocks — devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly, mimicking the speed of automatic weapons;
  • increasing gun restrictions for defendants in domestic violence and protection-from-abuse cases.

Likewise, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA) who is not up for re-election is a strong proponent of gun control and was strongly backed by Michael Bloomberg. It should be pointed out that many Philadelphia area Republicans are, at best, neutral on gun control as they fear the influx of Bloomberg’s money. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has reported on this for year.s

Rhode Island


According to Uprise RI, the gun prohibitionists were upset that the earlier versions of the party platform of the Rhode Island Democrats didn’t include gun control. The 2018 version adds this to the platform but the prohibitionists are upset it doesn’t include a “assault weapon” (sic) and magazine ban along with language condemning attempts at national carry reciprocity.

That said, the platform seems to be as bad as most.

REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE


As Democrats, we
respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment and its guaranteed rights for
law

abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. At
the same time, we recognize that there is a serious
issue with gun violence in our country, and we support
regulations regarding the safe use of
firearms.
We are proud of the thoughtful work that has been done in our state to
ensure the safety
of our children and our communities
and we support
passage of
other common sense measures
aimed at protecting the public from individuals who have demonstrated their inability to possess
a firearm without putting others around them in danger.
We
believe that we must
provide the public with the tools to be proactive partners with law enforcement to reduce gun violence. To
keep our communities safe, Rhode Island Democrats insist that Congress enact legislation to
require
unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows
and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant
background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct
using the National Criminal Instant
Background Check System
.
Additionally, we support laws that protects our children and our
families and will work to support common sense gun violence prevention measures. Finally,
because we view gun violence as a public health issue, we also call on Congress to pass
legislation allowing the Centers for Disease Control to study this issue.

South Carolina

South Carolina Democrats passed a resolution adopting the DNC platform in its entirety as their own platform. To get a better idea of what the Democrats would do if elected, let’s examine the positions of their candidates for governor and attorney general as those two positions would have the greatest impact on firearms legislation.

James Smith is the Democrat nominee for governor facing Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC). His website has this platform regarding firearms:

Advocating for Common Sense Gun Safety


James believes in a South Carolina that’s stands with our youth and he was proud to stand with them at the March for our Lives rally in Columbia. As Governor, James will sign legislation that:

  • Closes the Charleston loophole
  • Bans bump stocks and trigger cranks
  • Requires universal background checks, including for gun show sales
  • Makes it a crime to threaten use of a weapon on school grounds
  • Restricts retail sales of military-style assault weapons, including AR-15s
  • Introduces individual responsibility measures requiring owners of military-style assault weapons to be responsible for safekeeping and reporting stolen weapons promptly

The Charleston loophole refers to a FFL being allowed to release a firearm to a purchaser after three business days if a delayed response is received during the NICS check.

Constance Anastopoulo is the Democrat nominee to face pro-gun Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-SC). She is the wife of Akim Anastopoulo whose personal injury ambulance chasing ads run daily on South Carolina TV stations. Before becoming a law professor at the Charleston School of Law, she practiced with her husband. She doesn’t have anything on her website dealing with the issues. However, in announcing her intention to run, she said she would work to deny firearms to “domestic abusers”. I know this seems to be a common refrain from the gun control lobby but it would seem to already be covered by the Lautenberg Amendment which makes anyone convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence a prohibited person.

Fortunately, neither Smith nor Anastopoulo have much chance of beating the incumbent Republicans.

Bloomberg Buying Another Attorney General For Pennsylvania?

Michael Bloomberg’s first attempt at buying an Attorney General for Pennsylvania didn’t end too well. As most know, his investment in former AG Kathleen Kane was for naught as she had to resign her office in disgrace.

However, like any good investor Bloomberg is resilient. He knows that if one investment doesn’t pay off you cut your losses and look for a better one. His new investment is named Josh Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro is a former Pennsylvania State Representative and is the current chairman of the Montgomery County (PA) Board of Commissioners. Shapiro is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

“Gun violence” (sic) is one of the items on Mr. Shapiro’s agenda.

“The horrific violence perpetrated against victims in every corner of our Commonwealth makes clear that we must do more to combat gun violence. Gun trafficking, straw purchases, and gray market gun sales threaten us all by putting weapons in the hands of dangerous people. As Attorney General, I will aggressively pursue the sources of these illegal guns and work with police and prosecutors across Pennsylvania to reduce gun violence.” – Josh Shapiro

  • Beef up and expand the Gun Violence Task Force beyond Philadelphia’s borders.
  • Establish and implement model gun show procedures.
  • Prosecute prohibited purchasers who fail background checks.
  • Review concealed carry permit reciprocity agreements.
  • Increase awareness of laws against straw purchasing and simplify purchase forms.
  • Expand background checks to cover private sales of long guns.
  • Advocate for a statewide lost or stolen gun reporting requirement.

 You may wonder why in a state with over 1 million hunters that a candidate for attorney general would think gun control is a winning platform. Perhaps it is because he has 250,000 reasons to be for gun control.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Democratic Attorney General candidate Josh Shapiro may favor a number of gun-control initiatives, but he doesn’t lack for political ammunition. According to campaign-finance reports released last week, he received an eye-popping $250,000 donation from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a leading proponent of more expansive gun-control measures nationwide.


That Aug. 1 contribution accounted for more than 9 cents of every dollar raised by Mr. Shapiro and his rival, state Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, this summer.

 The NRA-PVF has rated Sen. Rafferty as an A- and given him their endorsement. Meanwhile, Shapiro was lucky to get a D instead of a F.

While anti-gun attorneys general do not make the law, how they carry it out sets policy. You can see that in the past month with the way Massachusetts AG Maura Healy has redefined what qualifies as an “assault weapon” in that state making thousands of gun owners potential felons. Moreover, carry reciprocity agreements have been negated by both former Pennsylvania AG Kane and by current Virginia AG Mark Herring. While Herring’s attempt was overthrown by legislation, I don’t recall that Kane’s move has been.

I have seen reader polls putting Rafferty ahead of Shapiro in this race but I don’t put much faith in them. With Hillary leading Trump in the state and Pat Toomey (RINO-PA) dead even with Katie McGinty (D-PA), down ticket races like this will be impacted. I hope for my friends in Pennsylvania that Rafferty can pull this one out.

Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Attorney General (Updated)

First there were the many mayors who were members of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns who ended up convicted of criminal activity. Now, in a step up, we have a state attorney general who owed her election, in good part, to ads on her behalf by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg being convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and other crimes.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Michelle Henry, who joined (Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R.) Steele in presenting the prosecution case, painted Kane as heedless of the law as she carried out her crimes.

“She knew it was wrong, she knew it was against the law, and she didn’t care,” Henry told the jury. “She did it for revenge. And after that happened, she covered it up with lies.”

In its verdict, the jury found Kane guilty of perjury in two instances: That she lied about her involvement in the leak and cover-up, and that she lied again in telling a grand jury she had not signed a secrecy oath pledging not to reveal confidential grand jury information. Prosecutors later found such an oath signed by Kane.

Kane sought revenge against former state prosecutor Frank Fina who she thought he was the source of a news story that was highly critical of how she shut down the prosecution of corrupt Democrats in Philadelphia.

In addition to the two felony counts of perjury, Kane was found guilty of the misdemeanor crimes of conspiracy, official oppression, and false swearing. Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy ordered Kane to surrender her passport and warned that she would be jailed immediately if there was any retaliation against witnesses. Kane could receive up to 28 years in prison but is expected to receive much less since she had no prior criminal record.

Prior to being elected Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kane was an assistant district attorney in the Scranton area who gained attention for criticizing how the investigation of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky had been conducted.

Kane, who has already lost her law license, has until the day of her sentencing to resign. She so far has resisted calls by Gov. Tom Kane and other leading Democrats to step down.

With Kane’s conviction, I guess a renaming is in order. Henceforth, the organization formally known as Everytown for Gun Safety will be known as Everytown Moms Demanding Illegal Mayors and Attorneys General.

UPDATE: Kane has announced her resignation effective at the end of the day on Wednesday, August 17th. She says she has “been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania, and I wish them health and safety in all their days.”

Kane’s mugshot when arraigned

She faces sentencing in 90 days. While she has promised to appeal, it will be very interesting to see what sentence she gets.

The cartoonist for the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia nails it in the tweet below. Kane, the first female AG in Pennsylvania history, broke the glass ceiling…and floor.

H/T Bitter and Rob Morse

Not Just Illegal Mayors Anymore

Mayors Against Illegal Guns has had so many of its members run afoul of the law that I’ve taken to calling it Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors. Thanks to news out of Philadelphia, I will have to expand that.

The special prosecutor and grand jury investigating allegations that Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane leaked secret information to a newspaper have found evidence of wrongdoing and recommended that she be criminally charged, according to numerous people familiar with the decision.

The panel concluded that Kane violated grand-jury secrecy rules by leaking investigative material in a bid to embarrass political enemies, sources said.

Some of those familiar with the grand jury presentment say it recommended charges that included perjury and contempt of court.

The statewide grand jury sitting in Norristown has turned over its findings to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who must decide whether to affirm its findings and arrest Kane, the state’s top law enforcement official.

 Kane reportedly leaked those grand jury materials in order to embarrass political opponents

Michael Bloomberg invested heavily in Kane ($674,000) when she first ran for Attorney General in  2012. Kane ran as an anti-gun candidate saying she would review all concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other states and cancel those that didn’t measure up to her standards.

This last year has not been a good one for Kane. Earlier in the year reports surfaced about how she tried to squash an investigation into corruption in Philadelphia. Then, as the year came to a close, she announced she was getting divorced from her husband Christopher after 14 years of marriage saying the marriage “was irreparably broken.”

Bitter has her take on this news here.

All I can say is that Bloomberg knows how to pick them. Or not.

The Things You Can Get At Wally World

You can get darn near anything at your local Walmart including, it seems, a 10-point buck.

That was the case at the Burrell Township, Pennsylvania store back in November on the opening day of deer season. Arcangelo Bianco Jr. had just pulled into Walmart when the 10-point buck came around the corner of the building. Not one to let an opportunity like this go to waste, Mr. Bianco hopped out of his truck and started firing at it with his pistol. And there begins his troubles.

From the Indiana (PA) Gazette:

Which is why Arcangelo Bianco Jr., 40, finds himself in trouble with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

According to the commission, Bianco fired several rounds at a hapless white-tailed deer from within the Burrell Township store’s parking lot and bagged the animal on the other side of Old William Penn Highway (Old Route 22) one afternoon last November.

The most serious of the charges he faces is a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. He also was slapped with five summary offenses, all hunting law violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game.

“Obviously, we can’t have someone running through a Walmart parking lot shooting at a deer,” said Jack Lucas, the wildlife conservation officer who investigated the incident.

After killing the deer, Mr. Bianco loaded it up in his truck and took it to the local meat processor to be butchered. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to keep it as it was seized as evidence in the case. Officer Lucas notes that the deer and surveillance footage from the Walmart security cameras will be used as evidence in court. He also said that the buck that Mr. Bianco shot was probably the best he’d seen in the last two years in Indiana County.

I guess the moral of the story is that just because you can get something at Walmart doesn’t mean you should.

UPDATE: CBS Pittsburgh is also covering the story and they have video of the Walmart. I like the comments of the District Attorney who says that they are a big hunting community and that people who are legitimate hunters are upset about the incident. Mr. Bianco is also charged with violations of game laws as they carry stiffer penalties. He faces his first hearing on May 1st.

Paul Ryan Is A Bitter Clinger

Yesterday in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee, reprised Barack Obama’s remark about bitter clingers. From The Hill:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) began resurrecting some of President Obama’s most famous gaffes on the campaign trail Tuesday, reminding a crowd assembled at a Pennsylvania steel plant of the president’s remark four years ago that some voters are “clinging to their guns and religion.”

“Remember this other time when he said people want to cling to their guns and religion?” Ryan said. “Hey, I’m a Catholic deer hunter, I’m happy to be clinging to my guns and religion.”

I remember Carnegie well because that is where we stayed while attending the 2010 NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. I seem to remember that many of the people staying at our motel were bitter clingers as well. Not to mention we took this picture on the way home from it.

You can see Ryan’s comments in the video below.

CCRKBA Weighs In On 60-Hour Shutdown Of Gun Sales In Pennsylvania

If you are a regular reader of Sebastian and Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned you already know that the Pennsylvania State Police are shutting down their Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) for upgrades to their computer system. As a result, there can be no firearms transactions from the evening of May 19th through the morning of May 22nd.

I think Alan Gottlieb of the CCRKBA is one the mark when he says that a) there are alternatives to shutting down the whole system and b) the PA State Police need to get out of this business and leave it to the FBI with NICS.

BELLEVUE, WA – A complete shutdown of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System by the state police for a period of 60 hours later this month for a system upgrade is “inexcusable,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“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.

“Surely,” he continued, “the State Police can find alternate means of processing firearms transactions and permit applications while the upgrade is in progress.”

The system is scheduled for update from 10 p.m. Saturday, May 19 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 22. Gottlieb said this highlights a problem with such systems when there is no backup. Authorities can literally suspend the Second Amendment by turning off a switch or pulling a plug, he observed, and use whatever excuse they want.

“We live in an age when computer upgrades should be accomplished considerably faster,” Gottlieb said. “Locking down such a vital system that is important to so many Pennsylvania residents for 60 hours is not an ‘inconvenience,’ it’s an outrage.”

Keystone State gun owners will hold their 7th annual Second Amendment Liberty rally tomorrow, May 8 on the main steps in the capitol rotunda. This would be a grand opportunity for firearms owners to contact their state legislators, and the governor’s office, to express their dissatisfaction over the PICS problem, he suggested.

“Since the last time this happened in 2007, Pennsylvania gun owners have been pushing for an end to the PICS system,” Gottlieb noted. “It is time to put the State Police out of the background check business, and turn over this important job to the NICS system operated by the FBI. They do their upgrades faster, and they deal with the entire country.”

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission Should Pay Attention To This

The Pennsylvania Game Commission just adopted a resolution approving Sunday hunting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They note in their resolution that 43 other states now allow Sunday hunting.

North Carolina isn’t one of them and you can’t even shoot at the NCWRC’s range at Cold Mountain here in Haywood County on Sundays. While I think there are some on the Wildlife Resources Commission that would like to see Sunday hunting, the General Assembly as it now stands would probably shoot it down.

Pennsylvania, by the way, separates their fish and wildlife department in one for game and one for fishing and boating. Thus, you have the PA Game Commission and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Sorry for the bit of trivia! Here is the resolution from the Game Commission.

Pennsylvania Board Adopts Resolution To Support Sunday Hunting

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved a resolution to support repeal of the statutory prohibition on Sunday hunting. The vote on the resolution, which was proposed by Game Commissioner Jay Delaney Jr. and seconded by Game Commissioner Ralph A. Martone, was four in support, three opposed and one abstention. Those voting in support of the resolution were Game Commissioners Delaney, Martone, David J. Putnam and Robert W. Schlemmer. Those voting in opposition were Game Commissioners Thomas E. Boop, David W. Schreffler and Ronald A. Weaner. Game Commissioner Gregory J. Isabella abstained.

Game Commission staff will present the resolution to the House Game and Fisheries Committee, which has been holding public hearings on the topic of Sunday hunting. The text of the resolution is as follows:

“The Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission declares its support for a repeal of prohibitions on Sunday hunting by the amending of Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues in Hunting and Trapping.

“Whereas, Pennsylvania has experienced consistent declines in hunting participation by both resident and non-resident hunters over the past several decades, with both the number of license sold and revenues generated experiencing steady declines, and

“Whereas, youth participation is vital to maintaining the long-standing tradition of hunting in Pennsylvania, we can effectively double the number of hunting days for youths during the school year by offering Sunday hunting, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting is an effective means of recruiting new hunters and retaining current hunters by increasing the value of the hunting license through offering additional opportunities to spend time in the field, and

“Whereas, many Pennsylvania residents seek hunting opportunities and hunting leases in neighboring states that offer Sunday hunting; Sunday hunting will keep Pennsylvania hunters in Pennsylvania, and

“Whereas Pennsylvania has a long-standing tradition of hunting camps and clubs, Sunday hunting will effectively double the number of hunting days for camp owners and club members, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting is expected to generate a substantial increase in out-of-state license sales and the accompanying revenue for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and

“Whereas, hunting license sales and their associated federal matching funds are the primary revenue source for the Pennsylvania Game Commission in carrying out its mission, including maintaining 1.5 million acres of state game lands and acquisition of additional public lands, research and management of wildlife and providing information and education to the public, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting will provide substantial economic benefits to rural areas and businesses by increasing money spent by hunters on lodging, food, gas and other incidental items, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting is expected to generate $629 million in additional spending and create 5,300 new jobs, resulting in $18 million in additional sales and income tax, and

“Whereas, the mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is to manage wildlife and its habitat for current and future generations, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting, which is currently permitted to control a growing population of coyotes, will provide the biologists of the Pennsylvania Game Commission a new tool to manage wildlife populations, and

“Whereas, the forty-three states that currently permit Sunday hunting have not experienced any discernable impact on the health or vibrancy of game populations, and

“Whereas, the Board of Commissioners recognizes the authority to permit Sunday hunting lies entirely with the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, and

“Whereas, if the General Assembly repeals the restrictions on Sunday hunting thus giving authority to regulate Sunday hunting to the Board of Commissioners, the Board recognizes the many stakeholder groups any action on Sunday hunting will effect and will endeavor to engage these stakeholders before passing any new regulations in regard to Sunday hunting.

“NOW, THEREFOR, we the Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, do hereby urge the General Assembly of Pennsylvania to REPEAL the PROHIBITION ON SUNDAY HUNTING IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA.”

H/T The Outdoor Wire