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Support Pennsylvania's Right to Bear Arms Protection Act

On January 25, 2013, Pennsylvania state representative Daryl D. Metcalfe (R-Butler) introduced House Bill 357, the Right to Bear Arms Protection Act ( http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.... ), which seeks to establish 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; and imposing penalties."

The introduction of HB 357 makes Pennsylvania the 13th state in the last three weeks to introduce legislation nullifying federal encroachments of firearms ownership. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe modeled the Right to Bear Arms Protection Act after legislation recently introduced in Wyoming and Texas.

The Right to Bear Arms Protection Act (RBAPA) would nullify any new federal restrictions, whether passed by Congress or by presidential executive order, on firearms and/or magazine clips. Included in the RBAPA are criminal penalties on federal agents attempting to enforce any such federal restrictions and/or attempting to confiscate firearms or magazines. Washington’s anti-gun laws would not just be null and void in Pennsylvania, but would be illegal if attempts were made to enforce them within the state’s borders.

The key provision of Pennsylvania’s Right to Bear Arms Protection Act reads:

A Federal law, rule, regulation or order created or taking effect after December 31, 2012, shall be unenforceable within the borders of this Commonwealth if the law, rule, regulation or order attempts to register, restrict or ban the ownership or purchase of a firearm, magazine of a firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition.

Another key provision of HB 357 further states:

An official, agent or employee of the Federal Government, Commonwealth or political subdivision who enforces or attempts to enforce a Federal law under subsection (a) commits a felony of the third degree and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not less than one year or more than seven years, a fine of not more than $15,000, or both.

Such a law is not without historical precedent. Historian Thomas Woods has written an excellent brief history of state nullification of federal laws in his article, "The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows ( http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/03/04/the-states-rights... )." In recent years dozens of states have introduced nullification-type legislation ( http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/7701-... ) to stop Real ID, affirm the Tenth Amendment, reject a federal mandate to buy healthcare insurance, and to reject federal firearm laws for guns manufactured, sold, and used intrastate (known as Firearms Freedom Acts or FFA). In 2012 a total of eight states passed FFAs. Although FFAs were introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature in 2009 and 2011, the bills were not passed.

The purpose of this new RBAPA is to guarantee that the people of Pennsylvania’s Second Amendment rights are not curtailed or trampled on in any manner or form by the federal government. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

At the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, in December 1791, it was understood that the militia meant the free able-bodied citizenry of the country. In 1788, Richard Henry Lee, signatory to the Declaration of Independence and subsequent Articles of Confederation, explained the meaning of the term militia, as understood at the time, and the imperative for citizens to be armed. Lee wrote, “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms.… To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms....”

During the Massachusetts’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution in 1788, Samuel Adams also explained, “…The said Constitution [is to] be never construed …to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

In volume 1, page 300, of St. George Tucker’s edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries: With Notes and Reference (1803), which was the most popular legal commentary of its day, Tucker stated:

The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever ... the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.

St. George Tucker was an attorney and a military officer who was wounded twice during the American Revolution, and was one of the leaders of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which paved the way for the subsequent Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. Tucker was a legal professor at the College of William and Mary, and served as a justice in the Supreme Court of Virginia. President James Madison later appointed him as a federal judge.

In addition to the U.S. Constitution, Section 21 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania states, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”

The right to keep and bear arms is one of the most essential components enshrined in both the Bill of the Rights and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to secure the preservation of one’s liberty and property. The proposed Right to Bear Arms Protection Act further strengthens this right by rejecting any newly created encroachment by the federal government and imposing criminal charges on any federal agent that would enforce any such violation of both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Email your state representative and state senator ( https://www.votervoice.net/JBS/2/Campaigns/30472/Respond ) and urge them to support and vote YES, in favor of the Right to Bear Arms Protection Act, HB 357.

Phone calls can also be very effective, and of course, the most effective way to educate your state legislators is by making personal visits to their offices. Click here for contact information ( https://www.votervoice.net/JBS/Address ).

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God bless you Pennsylvania, i

God bless you Pennsylvania, i was born here and i may or may not die here.


It is certainly corrupt, that's for sure.

Best of luck either way :-)

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

does this mean we can have

does this mean we can have fully automatic rifles and stinger missiles?


What a great

example of nullification.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

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"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."


Thank you for the bump :-)

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul