PA Senate Hearing Pt 2 ERPO is a Gun Grab
September 28, 2019
by: Frank Tait
It was clear on Tuesday and Wednesday that the intent of the Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) championed by the anti-firearm rights Senators at this hearing are to disarm people. There is only a thin veneer left on their confiscatory intentions.
Kim Stolfer from Firearms Owners Against Crime noted that per the recent Pennsylvania House report, that firearms crime has declined 30% in Pennsylvania so why do we need more laws
The ERPO removes the accused’s firearms without due process. Senator Art Haywood (pictured) argued that the “ex parte” discussions were due process. There is no right to confront your accuser and the evidentiary standards to confiscate firearms are below what are even needed for an arrest. Senator Haywood is so anti-firearm, he believes that due process rights shouldn’t apply to firearm owners. One of the reasons in the statute to trigger an ERPO is the purchase or attmpt to purchase a firearm in the previous 6 months. Shira Goodman of Ceasefire PA (pictured - note the expression on Josh Prince’s face in the background), Adam Skaggs from the Giffords Law Center, and Kaegan Mays-Williams of EveryTown for Gun Safety demonstrated repeatedly that they have target fixation on guns and passing an ERPO. They just want to “do something” as long as it stays focused on the guns. They do not understand or seem to care about implications to the myriad of overlapping federal and state laws that would come into play with an ERPO. Something as simple as the implications of answering question 11.f on a 4473 after being subjected to an ERPO eludes them.
Joshua Prince, who testified on Wednesday morning did a masterful job of exposing their intentions. He pointed out that taking someone’s firearms under an ERPO would permanently make the individual a prohibited person from possessing or purchasing firearms without any recourse or appeal. He argued that Pennsylvania’‘s Section 302, mental health procedures statute, is well established and provides the ability to remove the PERSON who may be a danger to themselves or others to a qualified mental health professional who will evaluate that person and determine if they should be held for 72 hours. This process protects the due process rights of the individual as there is established procedures for protecting firearm rights through a voluntary commitment and as Josh has successfully litigated, restoring someones firearm rights even after an involuntary commitment.
Josh’s blog outlines his track record of successfully litigating Section 302 issues on behalf of the residents of Pennsylvania, including forcing the PA State Police to properly respect the restoration of someones firearm rights when they purchase a firearm.
The current 302 process in Pennsylvania, while flawed, properly focuses on the individual and removes them from where they could do harm to self or others while providing due process.
ERPO’s are redundant, do not provide due process and should not be adopted.
Should the Pennsylvania legislature pass this unconstitutional law (amd we know aht notorious anti-gun Governor Wolf will sign it) we know that Josh Prince will be there to litigate on our behalf.