Su­per­vi­sors to lobby state law­mak­ers TO EX­TEND FIREARMS BAN TO SUBLIC SARKS

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE - By D.E. Sch­lat­ter

LOtER MAKEFfELD - The board of su­per­vi­sors said it will pe­ti­tion Penn­syl­va­nia law­mak­ers to make it a crime to carry firearms in state and lo­cal parks.

fn a 5-0 vote on Jan. 16, the su­per­vi­sors agreed to ask the Penn­syl­va­nia State As­so­ci­a­tion of Town­ship Su­per­vi­sors (PSATS) to lobby state leg­is­la­tors to pass a law to ex­tend the firearms ban to all parks.

Cur­rently, state law only makes it a crime to carry guns in cer­tain places, such as schools and court­houses, but not on park­land.

Many mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, in­clud­ing Lower Makefield, had passed or­di­nances ban­ning guns in their parks. But the state Supreme Court had over­turned Philadel­phia’s ban, rul­ing that un­der the pre­emp­tion doc­trine only the state, not lo­cal gov­ern­ments, can reg­u­late firearms.

“As much as f sup­port the Sec­ond Amend­ment, f can’t think of any good rea­son to have firearms at Macclesfield,” said Chair­man Pete Stainthorpe.

Vice Chair­man Doby Dob­son con­curred. “Let’s be sen­si­ble here, there’s no good rea­son to be car­ry­ing a gun in a pub­lic park.”

Ac­cord­ing to town­ship so­lic­i­tor Jef­frey Gar­ton, the let­ter is not ask­ing law­mak­ers to ban firearms, but just reg­u­lat­ing where they can be car­ried.

How­ever, Stainthorpe noted that the chance of all the PSATS del­e­gates en­dors­ing the ban “is quite small.

“The at­ti­tude about guns in other parts of Penn­syl­va­nia is very dif­fer­ent than it is here,” he con­tended.

Mean­while, Po­lice Chief Ken Coluzzi com­mented that the let­ter is “a good first step.”

fn or­der to move for­ward with the pe­ti­tion, the su­per­vi­sors have to first no­tify the Bucks County As­so­ci­a­tion of Town­ship Of­fi­cials (BCATO) of Lower Makefield’s re­quest to ex­tend the ban be­cause the state as­so­ci­a­tion only con­sid­ers re­quests from county or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The county group meets early next month, with PSATS con­ven­ing in April. At the Jan. 16 meet­ing, the su­per­vi­sors au­tho­rized Gar­ton and town­ship man­ager Terry Fe­dor­chak to no­tify BCATO that the su­per­vi­sors would soon be con­sid­er­ing a for­mal res­o­lu­tion call­ing for a ban.

Ear­lier in the meet­ing, Arthur Cohn of Spruce Mill Drive asked the board to send a let­ter to U.S. Con­gress­man Mike Fitz­patrick (R-8) urg­ing him to sup­port an as­sault weapons ban.

“There’s not a need for them in any com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing Lower Makefield,” Cohn de­clared. “Your sup­port would send a mes­sage to Congress.”

How­ever, Stainthorpe said that the board it­self should not sup­port some­thing on the fed­eral level, and in­stead should con­cen­trate on town­ship mat­ters.

“Each of [the su­per­vi­sorsz is free to write a let­ter on town­ship let­ter­head,” he said.

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