Skip to main content

Chester County Press

HB 1243 reveals lawmakers' hypocrisy

10/22/2014 08:08PM ● By Lev

Letter to the Editor:

I read a Bloomberg News report on Oct. 6 stating: “A Pennsylvania bill that would allow the National Rifle Association or other groups and individuals to sue cities whose gun laws are more restrictive than state and federal statutes passed the state House of Representatives today.  If approved by the Senate and signed by Republican Governor Tom Corbett, the law would permit any individual or membership organization affected by a municipal gun ordinance to sue and recover legal expenses without having to prove actual injury.”

I was just amazed by this!  What is Harrisburg thinking?

House Bill 1243 started out as an attempt at common sense gun control with provisions such as reporting of stolen or lost guns and limitations on gun ownership by folks with criminal history or mental health problems.  I admit, there were a few other provisions that could have initiated good discussion over what “well-regulated” really means.  But instead of real debate, our Harrisburg leadership, including our State Rep. John Lawrence, simply threw out all control provisions and wrote an amendment that created a new right for the NRA or others to sue our local municipalities if they feel burdened by any regulation or limitation on gun ownership.

The unbelievable hypocrisy just amazes me. I heard Rep. John Lawrence in his first campaign for office talk about how bad lawsuits were and how harmful to business. But apparently, when his masters in Harrisburg -- and I don’t know whether it’s the Republican leaders or the NRA or both -- tell  him to vote to encourage lawsuits against boroughs like Oxford, he just does it. He must believe that if the NRA sues to take tax money out of the borough, it’s a good thing.

The other hypocrisy is that it’s Harrisburg telling local municipalities that they don’t know what their boroughs and towns need to be safe.  Several small towns in Pennsylvania have passed laws like this because they want their police departments to know what kind of weapons have been stolen and will  be used to commit crimes against the community, or even against them. It’s just common sense. But Lawrence and his big government leaders believe they know better than Oxford and other towns, that when a criminal steals a gun, he should be protected from having that crime reported.

Boroughs and towns need to be able to deal with crime and criminals that, due to our commercial areas, most of the townships never see. And part of that safety is having our police departments know when guns are “lost” or stolen. I can’t even fathom why Mr. Lawrence and his cronies want to protect people who steal guns. I can read the NRA website praising what Harrisburg did in creating the “right to sue.”  I just truly can’t understand why the NRA also wants to protect the right to steal weapons with no reporting.

So there are two things to do to stop the craziness. First, don’t vote for Mr. Lawrence on Nov. 4. If he thinks suing the borough is a good idea, he shouldn’t be allowed back in Harrisburg.  Second, write or call State Sen. Andy Dinniman and urge him to vote "no" on this legislation when it comes to the Senate.  We have to get back to using common sense.


Etha McDowell


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline