The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania opposes HB 2799 P4293 and the Williams gun license fee increase amendment.
We do not object to increasing the penalty for violent criminals, but we object to this language because, as written, it is a trap for innocent gun owners.
Example: A twenty-year-old National Guardsman lives in Philadelphia and owns an AR-15 to maintain his life saving skills. He wants to go to the shooting range for target practice, so he locks his unloaded rifle into a gun case and walks out to his car. Under this legislation this perfectly harmless activity would be a felony.
The Williams amendment to this bill creates an additional injustice: It would increase the price of a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms that is issued in Philadelphia from $20 to $154. "Any fee is an unconstitutional abridgement of our right to self-defense, but this draconian increase is a back-door attempt by anti-gun zealots to price many law-abiding Philadelphians right out of the ability to protect themselves" stated David Jahn, Chairman of the LPPA.
"The Pennsylvania Constitution is clear. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be questioned. Why should anyone have to pay $154 dollars to protect themselves?" said James Babb, Chair of the Montgomery County Libertarian Committee. "Like all gun control laws, this bill will only affect law abiding citizens, not criminals. It will make people less safe."
"Imagine if you had to pay a large government fee to exercise your right to vote or go to church. Why should the right of self-defense be any different? Poll taxes were once used to disenfranchise African-Americans. Is this self-defense tax a ploy to disarm minorities? Is the racist nature of this bill by design or just a sad outcome from misguided do-gooders? As a Libertarian, I believe all people have a right to self-defense, regardless of race, neighborhood or economic level,” commented Darren Wolfe, Eastern Vice-Chairman of the LPPA.
The Libertarian Party, the third largest and fastest growing political party in Pennsylvania and the nation, continues to provide a beacon of hope for voters disillusioned by the fog of Big Government.