Pennsylvania: New Law Removing License Display Applauded by Requirement Game Commission!

Earlier today, Governor Tom Corbett signed legislation into law removing an antiquated law which required hunters and trappers to display their license on an outer garment. With the enactment of House Bill 735, hunters and trappers will no longer be required to display their license beginning on February 13. Since this legislation will not take effect for sixty days, it is important that hunters and trappers continue to respect the current law and continue to wear their license until then.

Pennsylvania: “Animal Rights” Activists Shut Down for 2011

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to recommit Senate Bill 71 to the Gaming Oversight Committee by a 124 to 69 vote.

Vote on Amendments Attacking Pennsylvania’s Sporting Tradition Scheduled for Tomorrow!

Last week, a vote on two amendments that would put an end to organized bird shoots in Pennsylvania was postponed due to your telephone calls and e-mails. These amendments have been rescheduled for a vote in the state House tomorrow.

Vote on Amendments Attacking Pennsylvania’s Sporting Tradition Postponed to Tuesday, December 13!

Yesterday, animal “rights” lobbyists and activists converged on Harrisburg in support of Representative Maher’s amendments to Senate Bill 71. Due to your telephone calls and e-mails, the scheduled vote was postponed to Tuesday, December 13.

Amendments Attacking Pennsylvania’s Sporting Tradition Could be Voted on in the State House!

Animal “rights” activists have once again talked state Representative John Maher (R-40) into sponsoring two amendments that would put an end to organized bird shoots in Pennsylvania. These amendments, which could amend Senate Bill 71, are scheduled to be voted on TODAY.

PA Lawmakers on National Concealed Carry

We’re counting down to the House vote on the issue of national concealed carry license reciprocity this afternoon, and some folks may wonder how Pennsylvania’s lawmakers have been on the issue.

Back in April, we covered the bill shortly after it was introduced. At the time, we could proudly pat nine House members from the Commonwealth on the back for their support of the bill. Since then, more came on to co-sponsor, including Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick, Lou Barletta, and Tom Marino.

Based on a rule vote yesterday, it appears that the majority of the Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to support the bill.

These lawmakers deserve our thanks for their support in the vote:

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-3)
Rep. Jason Altmire (D-4)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-5)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-6)
Rep. Pat Meehan (R-7)
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-9)
Rep. Tom Marino (R-10)
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-11)
Rep. Mark Critz (D-12)
Rep. Charlie Dent (D-15)
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-16)
Rep. Tim Holden (D-17)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-18)
Rep. Todd Platts (R-19)

These are the lawmakers who voted against us on the rule:

Rep. Bob Brady (D-1)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-2)
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13)
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-14)

Pennsylvania’s Hunters Help the Hungry this Season

Those who aren’t familiar with Pennsylvania’s hunters may not realize that the sport isn’t just about getting out into the woods to escape the rush of every day life. For some, they will share what they harvest from Pennsylvania’s fields with those most in need.

NSSF recently published 2010 data collected from food banks, the USDA, and hunger programs to study how much hunters have given to those less fortunate. The data is split into regional numbers, and it reveals that Pennsylvania’s hunters, along with those of eight other Northeastern states, donated more than 201,100 pounds of venison to food banks and hunger programs. All of that meat contributed to nearly 805,000 meals for those struggling during these tough economic times.

Around the country, nearly 2.8 million pounds of game meat were donated to programs that feed the hungry. The result was more than 11 million meals served at a time when food banks across the nation have been depleted as families struggle.

NSSF’s Jim Curcuruto points out that the data from confirmed sources is already impressive, “…annual donations could easily be double this amount if ‘direct’ donations from hunters to friends and family are included.”

For more information on how you can contribute if you’re a hunter, check out this listing of Pennsylvania processors for Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry or this list of processors from Hunters Sharing the Harvest.

Local Lawmakers Investigate Obama Administration

Many gun owners have been tuned into NRA News as we learn about the Justice Department’s extremely flawed operation to allow guns to walk into Mexico. Members of Congress have appeared on the show to reveal what they have learned through Congressional hearings, staff research, and reports from whistleblowers.

Three Pennsylvania lawmakers serve on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Reps. Pat Meehan (PA-7), Todd Platts (PA-19), and Mike Kelly (PA-3). As the committee that has been leading the investigation into the the Obama Administration’s ATF program to knowingly sell guns to criminals who passed them directly into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, the results of their work could directly impact Pennsylvania gun stores and gun owners. Some media reports indicate that the Administration is now considering the elimination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and we know that they have pursued more regulations on gun shops in response to Mexican drug violence.

Here, Rep. Meehan questions the ATF staff responsible for the operation to try and get to the bottom of the program that purposefully put guns in the hands of criminals.

Rep. Meehan talked to Cam Edwards of NRA News last night to discuss his call for Attorney General Eric Holder to testify.

2012 Federal Elections Taking Shape

Here we are just a few weeks out from the 2011 elections, but most political news is really about 2012. And who can blame anyone for that? There’s a presidential election, a possible shift in the US Senate, a large number of state offices, and news out of early primary states now indicate that the 2012 primaries may begin in 2011 during the holidays.

While Iowa talks of shifting their January 3 caucuses a month earlier and New Hampshire proposes dates as early as December 6, Pennsylvania may still be at least four months awayThe exact timing will depend on the number of challenges filed to any plans. from even having a redistricting plan to determine our legislative districts!

Here is an overview of what gun owners should know about some of the 2012 races:

Presidential Election
Unless there are radical shake-ups, the Democratic nominee will be incumbent Barack Obama. While we have been somewhat fortunate on his unwillingness to veto key legislation even when there are pro-gun amendments attached to it, his appointments to the Supreme Court reflect his true colors on this issue. The fact remains that the Second Amendment as an individual right still hangs in the balance by only one vote, and any replacement of one of the so-called “Heller Five” by this administration will likely lead to either the original case being overturned or limited so severely that there is no judicial respect for the individual right. Currently, the Republican primary is in full swing and will likely heat up here in Pennsylvania come springtime.

US Senate Race
Speculation has been strong about a Republican opponent to Sen. Bob Casey for several years. While he started out his term fairly low profile and uncontroversial, his support of controversial issues such as Obama’s healthcare plans put him on the radar with many Pennsylvanians. Now, the race is beginning to draw more attention from both sides of the aisle.

On the Democratic side, Casey only has one declared challenger so far. Brian KellyReaders are welcome to try and visit his website, However, when we tried to visit, warnings of serving malware popped up., who ran against former Rep. Paul Kanjorski in 2010, has announced he will launch a campaign next week.

For Republicans, the race is a little more interesting. There are at least nine candidates so far, and new announcements are not off the table. Two candidates have recent Congressional race experience – one from the Southeast and one from the Southwest. Word of Steven Welch’s campaign broke last month after his 2010 campaign for the Republican nomination the 6th congressional district was cut short when incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach re-entered the race. A former challenger to the late Rep. John Murtha and Rep. Mark Critz, Tim Burns entered the Senate race this week.

Another former candidate also launched a campaign out of the Philadelphia suburbs – David Christian who ran for Congress in the 1980s. Erie was the site of Tom Smith’s campaign announcement. John Kensinger, a pharmacist, is running for the seat from Bedford County.

Hailing from the northern part of the state, John Vernon started his campaign in September. From Scranton, a businesswoman named Laureen Cummings has also announced a campaign for the Senate seat. Marc Scaringi, an attorney from the Harrisburg-area, also threw his hat into the ring to take on Sen. Casey.

Gun owners who pay close attention may recall that Sen. Casey had an A rating when he last ran for the seat. However, his support on a key vote for national reciprocity in 2009 was revealed to be open to gun control proponents if they felt they needed it to win a legislative battle. He also supported both of Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, including one who voted against individual rights in the McDonald case. With other pro-gun legislation moving in the current Congress, it remains to be seen what happens to the Senator’s 2012 grade.

Sunday Hunting Opponents Attack NRA Members

Opponents of hunting on Sunday have gone on the attack – claiming that NRA members who live, hunt, and shoot here in Pennsylvania should not be counted as local support for ending one of the few remaining blue laws in the country. Their reason? Because the organization that unites us has an office in Virginia.

From this article in The Patriot-News, we get an idea of the “us vs. them” style rhetoric from one group involved in the debate:
It’s the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau vs. the National Rifle Association in a title bout over the legalization of hunting on Sunday.

The Farm Bureau is the defending champion of one of the last remaining blue laws that forbids hunting of most game species on the Lord’s designated day of rest. …

“There are interests outside Pennsylvania with money coming in and pushing this,” [Farm Bureau spokesman Mark] O’Neill said. “They are targeting Pennsylvania.”

Fortunately, the reporter sets Mr. O’Neill straight on a few facts:
Every member of the Sunday Hunting Coalition has significant membership inside Pennsylvania.

The NRA alone has some 400,000 Pennsylvanians on its rolls.

The NSSF has more than 500 Pennsylvania businesses on its rolls.

Yes, Mr. O’Neill, we’re Pennsylvanians – many of our members were born here and have lived here our entire lives. We’re not outside interests or non-residents flying in to force policies upon you.

We’re taxpayers, too. We also pay for the conservation & farming programs that your farmers benefit from at the federal government – Conservation Reserve Program & Wetlands Reserve Program to name a couple. (Let’s not even get into the Farm Bill…) It’s time that we had a voice in this debate, and you should not stoop to the level of calling accusing the fellow citizens who simply disagree with you “interests from outside” of our state.

We’re here, we’re ready for a change, and we hope that your members will work with us on improving the state of hunting in Pennsylvania instead of reducing the debate to “us vs. them” and making threats about shutting out hunters if you don’t get your way.