We celebrate wins and learn from failures.
One day after the 21st anniversary of 9-11-01, I attended the annual 2A Rally at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA. This year’s theme was “Stay Free, Stay Armed, Stand Together against Tyranny.” Every time an event like this happens, I feel like I use to feel back when I played in bands. As the show time approaches, I would watch the door and wonder, “how many people are going to come?”
The turnout at the rally this year was, to be generous, disappointing.
At the beginning of the rally, the pro-Liberty elected officials at the top of the steps outside of the Capitol, outnumbered the concerned citizens looking back at them. It was indeed great to hear the speeches from Rep’s Metcalfe, Borowicz, Benninghoff, Ward, Dowling, Cutler, Sen. Dush, our FOAC-ILLEA President, Kim Stolfer, and guest speaker Nikki Goeser. It was great to see other friendly Pro-2A Reps such as Bud Cook, Tim O'Neal, Dave Maloney, Jason Ortitay, and many others, but inside I was feeling as if, just like some of the gigs I played in my band so many years ago, they were playing to a handful of “band wives” and the bartender.
Representative Metcalfe mentioned that the lack of attendance could be due to people’s inability to take a day off of work or pay for travel due to the current economic state of our union. He also mentioned that many Americans are reluctant to stand up because they are intimidated by the Biden Administration’s weaponization of the FBI against Americans who speak out for freedom or speak out against the current regime. Both of these justifications MAY have some validity, but I can say, although I greatly appreciate the appearance of the Legislators that stood for our 2A, “We The People” were seriously lacking…. I was quite frankly embarrassed.
During a conversation with a very pro-2A Representative later that day, a question was posed; how can we get roughly 600,000 Pennsylvania gun owners to vote in upcoming elections. He said that there are roughly 600,000 PA gun owners that DON’T VOTE. Not in the primary, not in the general, not in the midterm, not for the Presidential elections. If these Pennsylvanians would exercise their basic right to cast a vote and do so for pro-Liberty/ Pro-2A candidates, we would not have ANY of the problems or potential threats to our freedoms that we have today, NONE. Here I was hoping for a few thousand or even a few hundred gun owners to show up for the rally on September 12th, but each election day, hundreds of thousands of gun owning Pennsylvanians won’t even show up at the polls.
Unlike attending the rally in Harrisburg, going to your local polling place to vote does not require a day off work. Going to your local polling place to vote does not require $100 in gas or 40 bucks round trip in tolls…. By not going to the polls, and by not voting 2A you are giving your vote to tyranny!
Absence from the rally MAY be justified for some, but absence from the polls is inexcusable.
Let us learn from a failure so that we can celebrate a win!
If you or someone you know is a gun owner who is not even registered to vote, for the sake of liberty, REGISTER TODAY! You can register by CLICKING HERE!
If you or someone you know is a gun owner that is registered but hasn’t voted, for the sake of freedom, start planning now to make a difference by going to your local polling place the cast your vote for pro-2A candidates. The upcoming mid-term election is on Tuesday November 8th, 2022. For more information on polling places and absentee ballots CLICK HERE.
Together we can work together to rid the halls of government of tyrants and the anti-liberty elected class. I will see you all at the polls on Tuesday November 8th, 2022!
It is with great regret that we say goodbye to a true friend of Liberty and the 2nd Amendment. Former PA Rep. Jeffery Pyle recently lost his battle with cancer. Jeff was a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and Article 1 Section 21 of the PA Constitution. He was the chair of the 2nd Amendment Caucus for a decade. I first met Rep. Pyle at a machinegun shoot in Armstrong County back in 2017. I was asked by Kim Stolfer to come help and work in the capacity of a range safety officer for the event.
There were copious amounts of “ratta-tat-tat” and “kaboom”. Jeff wrapped the day up with a well-placed shot onto a 5-gallon bucket of Tannerite with a 50 BMG. It was a great day.
Over the next year or so, Jeff was keen to take time to discuss matters with me, he helped to educated me about how to better navigate the “process” and “politics of politics” in Harrisburg, and he consulted me on occasion about some of the deeper nuance of 2A issues and the firearms industry, especially in respect to training. Jeff was always keen to cross the room and say hello and he more than once offered me the use of his office in Harrisburg if ever I needed a place to hold a sit down.
I would have liked to have had the opportunity to know Jeff better outside of his elected office, but I feel I have been enriched by knowing him, and I know that the 2nd Amendment and Article 1 Section 21 is stronger in Pennsylvania because of his works.
In the interests of keeping FOAC-ILLEA members and contacts informed, we are holding a special meeting with David Giordano of the John Birch Society on the Dangers of a Constitutional Convention on September 25th at 7:00 p.m.
An Article V Constitutional Convention would threaten the very individual rights that FOAC-ILLEA has been working so hard to defend for decades. Individual rights are secured by the Constitution, and a Con-Con would have the inherent power to become a “runaway” convention that could completely change the Constitution. How do we know such a convention could become a “runaway”?
With Congress' initiative, the US Constitution has been amended 27 times. But never has the core American document been amended through a state-led process — the 2nd avenue that the founders created under Article V of the Constitution. An article that is only two paragraphs long.
Many politicians are frustrated by Democrats' control of Washington and — even when Republicans are in charge - the growing size of government.
Article V to the US Constitution provides two ways to amend the nation's organizing document — the most difficult, but most dramatic way to alter American society's very foundation.
The first is for a two-thirds majority of Congress to propose an amendment, with three-fourths of states ratifying it. This is how all 27 of the current amendments to the Constitution were added, but it's a path that today is largely blocked because of intractable partisan divisions. No American under 30 has experienced the nation amending the Constitution in his or her lifetime.
The second method - never before accomplished - involves two-thirds of US states to call a convention.
So please, we would appreciate you joining with us for a special evening, a week from today, on September 25th at 7:00 p.m. for an hour of learning about the intricacies of a Con/Con so you can intelligently debate these issues with anyone.
We (FOAC-ILLEA) are scheduling a presentation on September 25th at 7 p.m. featuring David Giordano of JBS on Zoom. Please see the link below:
Join FOAC-ILLEA Zoom Meeting With Dave Giordano of JBS and the Dangers of a Con/Con
Meeting ID: 412 221 3346
Passcode: 1234 (we are going to see about waving the passcode for this meeting)
Additional Links to a Con/Con:
We do hope you can join us for an evening full of informative debate and get your questions answered.
Yours in Freedom,
Kim Stolfer, President FOAC-ILLEA
A subcommittee the International Standards Organization approved the code
By Mimi Nguyen Ly Originally published by The Epoch Times September 10, 2022
An international standards body has approved the creation of a merchant category code for gun retailers to identify credit card sales of guns and ammunition.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)—an independent non-governmental body based in Geneva, Switzerland that creates standards across various industries, including the financial services industry—has approved the new merchant category code for gun and ammunition stores, according to a Sept. 9 announcement from Amalgamated Bank, a New York-based bank that had applied to ISO for the merchant category code.
The approval took place at a meeting on Sept. 7, ISO confirmed to The Epoch Times in an email. Members of the Registration and Maintenance Management Group “were unable to reach a decision regarding this application,” which resulted to the decision being “escalated to the ISO/TC 68/SC9 leadership (as per current process) who then met on the same day.” The leadership oversees standards for retail financial services.
“Considering the application met all the criteria from ISO 18245 and no material arguments pertaining to the approval criteria outlined in the ISO 18245 standard to reject the code were made, SC9 leadership has approved this MCC application in order to comply with the standard,” the ISO told The Epoch Times.
Merchant category codes comprise four digits and are used to classify retailers across various industries.
The approval from ISO enables banks that process payments from gun retailers to decide whether they should assign the new category code to gun merchants. The code could help monitors track where a person spends money via card, but wouldn’t show what specific items were purchased.
Currently, credit card companies classify retailers with other merchants as either “5999: Miscellaneous retail stores” or “5941: Sporting Goods Stores,” according to CBS News. While a new merchant category for firearm stores has been approved, it doesn’t have a code value assigned just yet, as of late Sept. 9.
Amalgamated Bank, which calls itself “America’s socially responsible bank,” said that its decision to push for creating the new code is “the result of nearly three years of research and partnership with issue experts at Guns Down America and Giffords Law Center and broad support from elected officials, pension funds, and others across the United States.”
Amalgamated Bank was founded by union workers nearly 100 years ago. The bank first tried to apply to create the gun merchant code in July 2021, but the application had been denied twice by the ISO, after which it applied again for the new merchant category code in June this year, reported CBS News.
Bank Urges Card Companies to Adopt New Category Code
Following the ISO approval, Amalgamated Bank is calling for credit card companies that typically follow the ISO standards to implement the new merchant category, but it is unclear whether the companies will adopt it.
Priscilla Sims Brown, the president and CEO of the bank, said on Sept. 9: “We all have to do our part to stop gun violence. And it sometimes starts with illegal purchases of guns and ammunition.”
“The new code will allow us to fully comply with our duty to report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales to authorities without blocking or impeding legal gun sales,” she said in a statement. “This action answers the call of millions of Americans who want safety from gun violence and we are proud to have led the broad coalition of advocates, shareholders, and elected officials that achieved this historic outcome.”
The bank in its release announcing the approval of the new merchant code also shared separate statements from multiple New York officials and lawmakers who support the move, including New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, New York State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, and New York State Rep. Chantel Jackson.
A coalition of national gun violence prevention groups including Guns Down America, Giffords, Brady, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence issued a joint statement applauding the approval of the new code, saying that the decision “paves the way for credit card companies to help law enforcement preempt mass shootings and firearm trafficking by identifying suspicious patterns of firearms and ammunition purchases” via the code for the 9,000 federally licensed firearms dealers across America. “Some of the nation’s worst mass shootings, including Aurora, Colorado; San Bernardino, California; Orlando; and Las Vegas involved electronic payments,” they noted.
Some groups have criticized the ISO approval. Mark Oliva, the managing director for public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a U.S. trade association for the firearms industry, told The Center Square that the code’s creation was “flawed on its premise.”
“Those who believe it will help law enforcement do not provide details on what should be considered suspicious purchases,” Oliva told the outlet.
He separately told Gothamist: “This decision chills the free exercise of constitutionally protected rights and does nothing to assist law enforcement with crime prevention or holding criminals accountable. Attaching codes specific to firearm and ammunition purchases casts a dark pall by gun control advocates who are only interested in disarming lawful gun owners.”
Lars Dalseide, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), the lobbying arm of the gun rights advocacy group NRA, told The Center Square: “Implying that firearm purchases are suspicious demonstrates an obvious bias these attorneys general hold against anyone who chooses to exercise a fundamental constitutional right.
“Creating specific credit card codes for firearms lays the groundwork for a de facto firearm registration. Suggesting otherwise is either shortsighted or deceptive,” Dalseide added. “The true travesty is that New Yorkers and Californians must continue facing the violent criminals pushed back on the streets thanks to these two attorneys general reckless soft-on-crime policies.”
Credit Card Companies Respond to Approval
Congressional Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) previously announced on Sept. 2 that they reached out to the CEOs of MasterCard, American Express, and Visa, seeking support for the creation of the new merchant category code and to “request information about their reported opposition to Amalgamated Bank’s application for such a code.”
The politicians cited a report from CBS News in June that said that it had obtained documents that show “employees from domestic and international credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, pushed back on an application to create a merchant category code for firearm and ammunition sellers.”
Following ISO’s approval of the new merchant category code, a spokesperson for Mastercard told outlets: “we now turn our focus to how it will be implemented by merchants and their banks as we continue to support lawful purchases on our network while protecting the privacy and decisions of individual cardholders.”
“This is exactly how we would manage the process for any other appropriate [merchant category code], like a bicycle shop or sporting goods store,” the Mastercard spokesperson said.
An American Express spokesperson said that when ISO develops a new code, the company works with third-party processors and partners on the implementation. “It is important to note that [merchant category] codes are one of many data points that help us understand the industries in which our merchants operate,” the spokesperson told outlets. “We are focused on ensuring that we have the right controls in place to meet our regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities, as well as prevent illegal activity on our network.”
In a statement on Sept. 10, Visa said it would adopt the ISO’s new merchant code.
“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules,” it said, reported The Associated Press.
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff issued this statement on the House voting to hold Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in contempt for his willful refusal to comply with a duly issued subpoena from the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order:
“Refusing to comply with a duly issued subpoena issued by the full authority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is extraordinary, nearly unprecedented, and dangerously undemocratic. By doing so, the Philadelphia district attorney, an officer of the court and a representative of the Commonwealth, says he is holding himself above the law, that he is untouchable,” Benninghoff said.
The district attorney is a lawyer, an officer of the court, and a representative of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and he needs to know that the law is the law. It applies to the people he refuses to prosecute. It applies to him,” Benninghoff continued.
“Taking this action today is the first step in further accountability. It is a necessary action that puts other remedies in play and allows the Select Committee and the House to seek compliance or have the district attorney face additional punishment.”
Philadelphia is experiencing a year of record bloodshed.
Philadelphians fear for their kids going to school.
Seniors are scared to ride SEPTA or sit in front of their own home.
Violence is exploding in the city… the quality of life is declining.
Addressing this violence takes a multi-effort approach.
The House acted by providing money in the state budget for task forces, training, assistance, mental health and community efforts.
The House also voted to form the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order.
The committee is empowered to investigate:
• The rising rates of crime, including the enforcement and prosecution of violent crime and offenses involving the illegal possession of firearms in Philadelphia.
• The use of public funds intended for the purpose of enforcing the criminal law and prosecuting crime in Philadelphia and elsewhere.
• The enforcement of crime victim rights.
• The use of public funds intended for the purpose of benefitting crime victims.
To combat this historic crime wave, everyone must participate – police, prosecutors and community leaders. No one is above the law, no one.
We have asked District Attorney Krasner to participate, to provide information, instead, he decided to go to court to block this House Committee from doing its job.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to hold Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in Contempt of the House for willfully refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order.
Actions by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order
Rep. John Lawrence, chairman of the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, sponsored House Resolution 227, a Resolution finding that Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence Krasner is in contempt of the House of Representatives.
The Resolution passed in the House by a vote of 162-38.
Prior to the House vote, the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order unanimously moved to recommend that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner be held in contempt due to his refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the committee last month. The committee also adopted an interim report on the matter.
House Resolution 216 established the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order to investigate, review and make legislative findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives regarding the rising rates of crime in the City of Philadelphia; the city’s use of public funds intended for law enforcement and prosecuting crime; the enforcement of crime victim rights in Philadelphia; and the use of public funds for the purpose of benefitting the city’s crime victims. The resolution authorizes the chairman to subpoena information relevant to the committee’s work.
Additional Comments from Members of the PA House
Rep. Martina White:
“As Philadelphia, my home city, is experiencing another year of historic crime and violence, District Attorney Larry Krasner has sought to blame everyone for the city’s problems but himself. My city’s streets are unsafe and there seemingly are no consequences for those who violate the law, despite the best efforts of law enforcement to lock up dangerous criminals. Today’s vote to hold Krasner in contempt shows a significant bipartisan majority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives stands for law and order and puts a check on the district attorney’s above-the-law attitude. It is the first, and a necessary, step in ensuring Larry Krasner can no longer let his brand of woke politics wreak havoc on Philadelphians who just want to live in safe communities.”
Rep. Josh Kail:
“I have said from the beginning that Larry Krasner is not above the law. His continued willful defiance of the investigative Select Committee looking at historic crime and violence in Philadelphia shows he continues to not believe the law applies to him. By holding him in contempt today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is continuing to stand for the rule of law, accountability, and ensuring Pennsylvania’s elected officials deliver on their promise to uphold the law.”
Rep. Tim O’Neal:
“Larry Krasner is a failed district attorney who has violated his oath of office and continues to operate outside the boundaries of the law. I was glad to see a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives stand up to hold this rogue actor responsible and put the force of law and support of the House behind the subpoenas issued by the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order. It is my hope that today’s vote is the first step in further accountability against Larry Krasner as we seek to ensure the laws of this Commonwealth are enforced and respected in Philadelphia.”
The gun bash ticket sales are under way! They can be purchased on the FOAC-ILLEA website. The gun bash is a tremendously great time of food and fellowship with some of the finest guns available in a bash! Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to pick yours up TODAY!
If you would be willing to volunteer and help with the Gun Bash, we can use extra man and woman power! We need more volunteers to help with set up on October 7th from 10am till 2pm. We also are looking for a volunteer to help with data entry. If you can donate your time, please contact FOAC-ILLEA Secretary/Treasurer Dale Brackin 412-913-1057.
By Joshua Prince, Esq. Originally Published September 8th , 2022 on Prince Law Blog
As our viewers are aware, on Friday, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince, assisted by Attorney Dillon Harris, secured a monumental victory for the residents of Pennsylvania, when Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough issued a preliminary injunction against the Pennsylvania State Police in Firearm Owners Against Crime – Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action, et al. v. PSP Commissioner Evanchick, in relation to its non-compliance with 18 Pa.C.S. 6111.1, by failing to provide instantaneous or otherwise immediate responses to firearm background checks. Late yesterday, PSP Commissioner Evanchick filed a Notice of Appeal and Jurisdictional Statement with the PA Supreme Court arguing, among other things, that a court should not be able to require the PSP to comply with a duly enacted statute or, alternatively, to the extent a court can, the PSP should not be required to comply with Section 6111.1, because the words "instantaneously," "immediately" and "expeditiously" are, according to Commissioner Evanchick and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, ambiguous...This is the same Attorney General Josh Shapiro who directed the PSP to redefine the definition of firearm that the General Assembly already defined, which resulted in the PSP being enjoined from enforcing its newly minted definition and a finding that AG Shapiro and the PSP violated the due process rights of the residents of the Commonwealth in implementing and enforcing its new definition.
You cannot make this stuff up, folks!
If your constitutional rights have been infringed upon by the Commonwealth or agency thereof, contact FICG today to discuss YOUR options!
To download the lists of current pro and anti gun legislation being considered in Harrisburg click on the corresponding links. Familiarize yourself with these bills and share them with your friends and colleagues: PRO-GUN AGENDA / ANTI-GUN AGENDA
The world and this country was very different before 9-11, attitude, travel, banking, commerce, communications, patriotism, community........A lot of things changed since 2001 and they continue to change... such is life. We must ALWAYS REMEMBER what happened that day. All geo-politics aside... Men and Women willingly gave of themselves and gave their lives in the pursuit to help others who needed it.
The sound of jet engines, the pictures of people jumping from buildings, citizens covered with white dust as they emerge from the clouds after the buildings dropped. The DEAFENING sound of PASS devices coming from beneath wreckage and rubble........................... knowing that each one was a Brother down.
I have not been in the fire service for sometime. I was not that great of a fireman anyhow, but it was such an honor to serve my community along with the real firefighters and first responders at my department.
I remember the 10 year anniversary of 9-11 in 2011. We all hung out at the old firehouse, in dress uniform. We had our bunker gear staged just in case. I brought Augie with me. He was only 3. We listened to the tones as county dispatch marked each time with a memorial alert; when the first plane hit... when the 2nd plane hit, when the buildings dropped. Grown men sat listening to the radios with tears in their eyes. Remembering where they were and what they were doing on that day.
During the day, we were all very quiet, solemn, and pensive. Then Augie found the big mud puddle.... His zeal for jumping into it sparked a laugh and a smile on our faces reminding us that time marches on and sometimes you gotta jump into the puddle to get rid of the water.
Augie and his generation will no doubt have their own "9-11", but I for one will be sure that he understands what happened on that day so that when his comes, he'll be better equipped to respond to it.
Never Forget... Always Remember!
FOAC Volunteers walking the Halls of the Capitol in Harrisburg, September 12th, 2022
FOAC-ILLEA presents Concealed Carry Seminars with Pro-Liberty Elected Officials, works with County Sheriffs at Satellite License To Carry Events, provides information tables at Gun Shows, and organizes for Pro-2A Rallies and events. To see the most up to date schedule of FOAC-ILLEA Events, CLICK HERE.
“Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat - the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.”
-John Wayne as Davy Crockett, The Alamo (1960)
FOAC-ILLEA is continuing to fight for the hearts and minds of our fellow Pennsylvanians to promote individual liberties and freedoms. We are steadfast and resolute and dedicated to protecting our Constitution and advancing the cause of the 2nd Amendment and Article 1 Section 21 of the PA Constitution.
FOAC-ILLEA’s educational efforts are expanding across the Commonwealth. FOAC-ILLEA volunteers are teaching more concealed carry classes each month and additional virtual education events are forthcoming.
FOAC-ILLEA is continuing to fight in the courts. Whether this means new litigation to challenge local tyrants, fight the bureaucrats that make it harder for Pennsylvanians to exercise their most basic rights, or the funding of amicus briefs to support others who are already involved in court battles, we are actively helping to establish case law that will help advance the cause of liberty.
FOAC-ILLEA volunteers research proposed legislation, consult with experts, and offer advice to elected officials about legislation as well as educate the public on the strength or folly of legislation that could have lasting positive or negative effects upon our liberty and the liberty of our children.
Get involved! If you have read this entire newsletter and made it here to this statement… you are already interested and vested.
Donate your time, or your talents, or your treasure. VOTE pro-2A and get your friends to vote pro-2A as well. Become a member and get your friends to become a member. If you are already a member, consider “upping your membership” to a higher level. Join us at the gun bash, purchase a ticket. Volunteer to help at the bash. Volunteer to join a committee to send emails, write letters, make phone calls… NOW IS THE TIME TO DO. DON’T PUT IT OFF. “We the People” have been sitting on the sidelines too long.
An Armed and Educated Citizenry is the true check and balance in our Constitutional Republic and the ultimate homeland security!
Stay Armed and Be Well Regulated!
Yours In Liberty,
FOAC-ILLEA 2nd VP