While Pennsylvanian’s support sensible gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Massacre, the inmates running the Pennsylvania House Asylum have introduced the “Firearms Freedom Act,” which would circumvent any sensible gun control measures passed by the federal government. In the most recent polling data, 94% of all Pennsylvanian’s favor background checks on all gun purchases, 61% banning high capacity magazines, banning assault weapons and limiting gun purchases to once a month, but Pennsylvania House Republicans have introduced a bill that goes against the clear majority of residents in the commonwealth.
The subject line of the bill – HB 475 – is pretty straight forward. It states that “prohibiting certain firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition from being subject to Federal law or Federal regulation.” The bill uses the 9th and 10th amendments as reasons why the survivalist wing of the republicans party should be protected. The bill reads:
“The 10th amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the Federal Government elsewhere in the Constitution and reserves to the Commonwealth and people of Pennsylvania certain powers as they were understood at the time that Pennsylvania was admitted to statehood in 1787. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the Commonwealth and people of Pennsylvania and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Pennsylvania and the United States in 1787.”
“The 9th amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees to the people rights not granted in the Constitution and reserves to the people of Pennsylvania certain rights as they were understood at the time that Pennsylvania was admitted to statehood in 1787. The guaranty of those rights is a matter of contract between the Commonwealth and people of Pennsylvania and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Pennsylvania and the United States in 1787.”
The bill uses the interstate commerce clause and is designed to protect any weapon that is manufactured in Pennsylvania, but the bill clearly states that ammunition or any other parts or mechanisms manufactured outside of the state is not subject to federal regulation because they are not connected to the gun at the time of manufacturing. But this bill excludes firearms that cannot be carried and used by more than one person, a gun that has a bore diameter over 1 1/2 inches that uses smokeless black powder and “ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm.” At the end of the bill, the legislation allows for a gaping loophole that a truck can drive through. As long as any firearm has “Made in Pennsylvania” stamped on the metallic part of the gun, it is exempted from any federal regulation (hmmm I see what they did there).
Since Pennsylvania Republicans are preoccupied in circumventing any proposed federal gun legislation, hundreds of thousands of people in the state are missing out on the expansion of Obamacare. Thankfully the Republicans are putting gun priorities first, stay classy Pennsylvania.
Sean Kitchen is an Assistant Editor and Social Media Organizer for Raging Chicken Press. He is student at Kutztown University.