Firearm Owners Against Crime Wins Battle with Police in Court

It seems surprising that a group supposedly fighting crime — Firearm Owners Against Crime, or FOAC —  would sue to overturn a law that, you know, fights crime. In this case, it is a law that Harrisburg’s police department desperately wants to keep in place. After all, who better wants to get guns out of the hands of criminals than the police? No matter; FOAC sued anyway, and as of last week, the suit is moving forward.

The issue at hand in Harrisburg is gun control, and the police want guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Firearm Owners Against Crime feels that big-G government is the last group to decide who gets to buy a gun, own a gun, carry a gun and especially what kind of gun. That would be a violation of said gun owner’s Constitutional rights; it says right there in the Second Amendment, if you read it the way they read it. And they insist they are reading it the right way.

In 2019, the same group successfully sued, along with other pro-gun groups, to overturn Pittsburgh’s ban of military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle that authorities say was used in an attack that killed 11 worshippers in that city’s Tree of Life Synagogue. Pittsburgh’s ban would also have restricted the use of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines and allowed the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others. Common sense, right? A judge said Pittsburgh had overstepped the gun rules set by the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Congress.

And so, as the Pennsylvania Capital Star reported last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, has ruled that anyone, anyone at all can have standing to take Harrisburg to court over its gun restrictions. Guess what? FOAC, ready on the spot, already has.

Harrisburg, at the urging of its police force, has in place gun ordinances requiring anyone who has lost a gun, or had one stolen, to report it. The ordinance also bans discharging a gun outside a sanctioned shooting range. And it forbids selling a gun to anyone under 18.

However, FOAC feels those restrictions are, apparently, increasing crime. Not only that, but gun advocates can sue to overturn any of Harrisburg’s five gun control laws going back to 1821.

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Linda Lee

A former editor and reporter at The New York Times, Linda Lee has written seven books, and started a magazine about real estate and design in Miami. While her interest lies in Bucks County, her family lives near Harrisburg. She has a Shih Tzu named Yolo.

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