Pennsylvania Ban On Home Firearms Advance To The State Senate


Pennsylvania Ban On Home Firearms Advance To The State Senate, iStock-884188404

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives advanced a bill (HB 777) that would ban homemade firearms to the Commonwealth’s Senate, where it will face a tough battle to pass in the Republican control chamber.

The bill will ban Pennsylvanians from owning, transferring, or making homemade guns without serial numbers. It will also prohibit 3D-printed firearms and modular frames with serial numbers. Anti-gun politicians refer to these firearms as “ghost guns” and blame them for the rise in crime in cities like Philadelphia.

All but one Democrat, Frank Burns (D-72), voted to pass the bill. Three Republicans crossed the aisle to join their left-leaning colleagues in voting for the bill. Ultimately, the bill was passed with a vote of 104-97. Democrats hold a slight margin of 102 to 100. The Republicans who voted for the bill were KC Tomlinson (R-18), Martina White (R-170), and Joe Hogan (R-142).

Their votes drew the ire of many gun rights advocates and gun rights groups. This anti-gun vote isn’t the first time that two of the three voted for anti-gun bills. Hogan and Tomlinson have previously voted for red flag laws and universal background checks. Gun Owners of America (GOA), which has a significant presence in Harrisburg, downgraded its rankings for the Republicans to an “F.”

While most derided the Republicans for voting for constitutionally dubious anti-gun laws, one Pennsylvania state-level gun group has started running cover for the three Republicans, which has upset many in the gun community.

Firearms Owners Against Crime (FOAC) sent out an email stating that the three Republicans didn’t have a choice other than voting for the bills. They claimed that the three would have lost their seats in the House if they voted against gun control.

“I would encourage members to realize that Republicans who voted in favor of this bill did so knowing they would lose their seats if they did not, not because they wanted to,” the email read. “I would encourage members to understand that even with those three Republicans voting against this bill, it would have passed 101 to 100, even with Democrat Frank Burns voting against the bill. Understand these Republicans know this bill will NOT become law because their fellow Republicans in the Senate will kill it promptly. Understand the ONLY reason the Democrats ran this bill was to make these Republicans either vote this way and get attacked by 2A groups, which has already started, or vote our way and get attacked by their local voters over a vote they could not win. Try to remember those Republicans are in heavy Democrat districts and we need them to stay in their seats to regain the House and stop this nonsense.”

FOAC has a mixed track record on homemade firearms. FOAC’s late President Kim Stofer was instrumental in getting JSD Supply banned from Eagle Arms Gun Shows for selling Polymer80 kits. The deal was brokered with the gun show owner, Amen Brown, then-Attorney General and now Governor Josh Shapiro. Mr. Stofer told this reporter that he wanted a paper trail for “ghost guns.” JSD Supply’s owner, Jordan Vinroe, would end up buying the gun shows and return to selling kits.

FOAC did fight against this bill, but the pressure wasn’t enough to stop it from passing the House. AmmoLand News asked current FOAC President Jim Stoker to comment on the bill passing to the Senate. Mr. Stoker believes it is more critical to protect Republicans who backed the bill than to hold their feet to the fire for their bad votes.

“FOAC Institute is non-partisan. We are neither pro-Democrat nor pro-Republican; we are pro-gun,” Stoker said in a state released to AmmoLand News. “Right now, the pro-gun legislators in this Commonwealth’s House consist of Republicans and only ONE Democrat. Our strategy moving forward is to attack specific anti-gun politicians in Democrat controlled districts where we can replace with pro-gun legislators and return control of the House to the pro-gun party in Pennsylvania. The result would be maintaining existing Republican seats and gaining two or three seats back from the Democrats who benefitted from the Democrat controlled courts handing them control of the House in 2022.”

The bill will now head to the Senate. It faces an uphill battle if the Republicans hold the line. Governor Josh Shapiro will sign it into law if it does pass the Senate.


About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. Mr. Crump has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump


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