Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Firearms Owners Against Crime
I love when the Olympic rings of the 2A community come into play and expands my circle. I was at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival in Greely, PA, for may/be the 5th year in a row. I was running around with Rob Campbell & Amada Suffecool from Eye On The Target Radio. Amanda messaged me and said Klint Macro (RSWC #069) from Meet The Pressers & USCCA was here with Jim Stoker from Firearm Owners Against Crime and I needed to have Jim on the show. Jim and Klint were in western PA for an NRA event the night before. They drove hours to Greely so Jim could speak at the Rod of Iron event.
Jim is now the president of Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC). Their long time president and founder, Kim Stolfer, stepped down due to health issues and passed away earlier this year. FOAC has been involved in Pennsylvania only gun issues since the 1990’s, including reciprocity, castle doctrine, and licensing requirements. Jim has recently retired as a police officer. Before he took the role as president, he wanted to make sure that the FOAC board was ok with him taking the role. Since he’s taken this position, there have been over 50 anti-gun bills from the PA House. The split between parties is only one vote. And the votes are mostly down party lines. He gets information every day about what is going in PA politics and writes about it in the FOAC newsletter.
Even though PA has 850,000 hunters and is a very pro gun state, there’s still work that needs to be done. Over the years, there’s lots of compromising done to try and keep some rights for gun owners. Some in the community feel there’s nothing they can do but compromise and they give up 5% of their rights everytime. FOAC tried to get Constitutional Carry, or permitless carry, passed though both houses, but the governor vetoed it. And the current governor won’t sign it either.
One of their fights is one that we all have: getting our 2A friends and gun owners to vote for the pro-Second Amendment candidates. A good friend likes to say “each one, reach one”, meaning if everyone that is a gun owner gets just one more person to become a gun owner, then we can not only make changes, but keep the rights we have and maybe get more of them back.
Someone cannot hunt big game with a semi-automatic centerfire rifle in PA, even though it’s legal, but the gaming commission said they cannot hunt with those rifles. The fall out of that is that people thinking that the Second Amendment is for hunting and not being able to hunt with a semi-auto centerfire rifle plays into the anti-gun agenda. If the 2A is about hunting and you can’t hunt with an AR, then you don’t need it, which is how they want that to play out. FOAC is out there educating the people that it isn’t just about hunting.
We have a great conversation about background checks, permitless carry, and what can be done to help get more people educated, trained, and voting. He brings up that 91% of law enforcement think citizens should have an AR 15. We also talk about how if people don’t get involved in the 2A fight, then PA can become much more like MA.
Coming from “occupied territory” of Massachusetts, it’s interesting to see that even in Free America states, there’s an ongoing battle to keep the rights they have. It’s not nice knowing that there is an anti-gun agenda that is being worked on in states that have a fantastic reputation for being a supporter of our Rights.
“The AG can pretty much change on a whim, where we’re going to have reciprocity and where we’re not.”
“We don’t affiliate Republican or Democrat. We affiliate pro-gun or anti-gun.”
“I’m out there talking about common sense gun rights.”
“The idea of universal background checks is not to keep the guns out of bad guys hands, they know bad guys are going to get them anyway. It’s to make you register what you have so they can confiscate them down the road.”
“Unfortunately in the sportsmans community there’s too much of ‘someone else will get it’”.
Firearm Owners Against Crime, Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action
Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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