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Local Liberty Alert: Pocono Township

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Local Liberty Alert: Pocono Township

The Pocono Township commissioners has introduced an ordinance on the use of firearms which expands the definition of a firearm and law enforcement ability to confiscate your firearms, while restricting your property use rights beyond existing safety regulations under state and federal law; ultimately furthering infringement on your 2nd amendment rights beyond the protections of public safety already in place.

Residents opposing this should attend and speak up at the next Pocono Township meeting on Monday June 17th at 6:00 pm at 112 Township Drive, Tannersville.

It appears the board held a special meeting on this subject on Wednesday June 12, the agenda is posted online but no meeting minutes yet, so the status of this ordinance and what was done in that special meeting is currently unclear.

Even if you are inclined to support this ordinance, you may want to rethink your position as you consider the serious legal ramifications which may very well result in property tax increase or elimination of public programs you support to cover the legal costs incurred when local governments enacting these sorts of radical laws violating constitutionally protected rights.

The ordinance applies to a broad range of firearms and even expands both state and federal definition of a “firearm” to include pellet, BB, and air guns. It also permits law enforcement to immediately confiscate your “firearms” pending due process if you violate this ordinance. It advances the regulations on private, outdoor-shooting ranges with (but not limited to) the following requirements: property must be a minimum of 3 acres and cannot be in a residential subdivision. (The definition of “residential subdivision” is commonly abused beyond what the average person thinks of with regard to gated communities and private HOA’s.) Furthermore, it restricts usage of such private outdoor-shooting ranges to the property owner and their immediate family only (basically, if you have your friends come over for target practice all of your firearms can be confiscated). Violations of this ordinance are subject to $1,000 fine and up to 90 days imprisonment.

Some items listed in this ordinance seem reasonable to casual observers, but don’t be fooled, these protections and requirements are already covered under Pennsylvania law, including:

  • ‘”The careless, reckless or improper use of any Firearm tending to imperil or cause danger or harm to personal security or to endanger property of any person … is strictly prohibited”
  • “The use of Firearms is permitted when hunting in conformity with the game laws … provided that any person hunting upon the land of another shall have the written permission of the landowner . .. and have said written permission upon his/her person.”

The status of this ordinance is unclear at the time of composing this leaflet (on the evening on June 13th). Consider insisting your township commissioners revise their bylaws with more specific requirements of public notice of their meetings and proposed ordinances. The current bylaws are very vague. You are welcome to reach out to the Monroe County Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania at Monroe@|ppa.org if you would like more insights on the observations made in our efforts to track this situation or want to get involved with the local Libertarian Party affiliate.

You can review the complete ordinance at:
https://www.poconopa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/DRAFT-Firearms-Ordinance.pdf

Monitor Pocono Tw meeting agendas and minutes at:
https://www.poconopa.gov/board-of-commissioners/

Also published at:
https://www.monroecountypa.com/news/local-liberty-alert-pocono-township

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