The Brady Campaign released state rankings today, and they give an important insight into the gun control lobby’s priorities for the next legislative session. Sadly, Pennsylvania actually ranks as the number 10 favorite state. Though at least Keystone State gun owners can take some pride in the fact that the Brady Campaign considers our gun control laws to be less restrictive on our rights than those our neighbors to the north, south, and east.
Here are the laws the Brady Campaign likes in Pennsylvania:
- Restricted private sales of handguns
- State registry of firearms sales
- Mandate for gun locks with handguns
- State universities are allowed to ban lawful possession by licensed, of age gun owners
They don’t like that Philadelphia can’t ban guns due to statewide preemption. They want to bring discretionary licensing like New Jersey to Pennsylvania. They want to ban semi-automatic rifles and magazines of various sizes. The Brady Campaign wants to ban all firearms use by children as old at 17 – no more Boy Scout merit badges for shooting or taking your grandchild on his or her first hunt. They want to mandate a federal background check every time you purchase ammunition and require that records be kept to track who buys even a box of .22. The group also wants to create a costly “ballistic fingerprinting” database – versions of which have shown absolutely no use in solving crimes in New York and Maryland. Of course, they also plan to push for the usual bans on all private sales and import New Jersey’s permit to purchase system that often delays gun owners for 6 months or more to Pennsylvania.
To put our laws and grade in context, look to their grade of Massachusetts as a guide. They rated Massachusetts as a 54 – an F. The Bay State has discretionary firearms ownership licensing. If a gun owner inadvertently ends up on a police chief’s bad side on the day he or she applies for a license to own a rifle or handgun, they could be rejected. Massachusetts requires a gun license to even possess pepper spray. If you take a new shooter to the range, they cannot collect relics of their day in the form of inert brass casings without a gun license. In effect, there is no right to own a firearm in Massachusetts, and yet the Brady Campaign still considers it to be a failing state.