We don’t expect Democrats to protect our Second Amendment rights. We’re happy that some do, but as a party, we know how they feel about guns. Of course, these days, they seem to be trying to ramp up the anti-gun vitriol to 11.
All of which means the governor of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, saying he’ll immediately sign a new gun control bill isn’t shocking, though it is disappointing.
The measure that Gov. Tom Wolf is backing, HB 2060, was approved 131-62 by the Pennsylvania House last week and 43-5 by the Senate on Wednesday. The aim of the proposal is to pump up the existing surrender gun policy of convicted abusers in the Commonwealth and the Democrat vowed to sign it as soon as it hits his desk.
The bill would make those subject to a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction or a final Protection From Abuse order relinquish their guns and ammunition to police or a gun shop within 24 hours of a hearing. Current law, which allows more judicial discretion on ordering surrenders, grants a 60-day window and the ability for those subject to such surrender orders to give their arms to a third-party, such as a friend or family member, to hold. An amendment by state Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair Township, to continue to allow friends to hold guns was defeated 39-9. Those who don’t comply face two years in prison and a fine of as much as $5,000.
Second Amendment groups argue that spurious orders have in the past been filed vindictively and that gun owners can easily lose their firearms and right to keep and bear arms pending lengthy legal appeals and, even if they get their guns back, could leave them on the hoof for thousands in storage fees. Further, they point out that police could sell guns stored with them after a year as surplus property and keep the money.