PA Rep Chides New Gun Owners: Congrats, Now Lock It Up

Gun control advocates are losing the argument right now, and they’re not happy about it. For years, the goal of their “gun safety” messaging has been to convince Americans that they shouldn’t own a gun, and now hundreds of thousands of Americans are running out to their local gun stores and buying up all the firearms and ammunition that they can. Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Frankel is among those who can’t stand what he’s seeing, and he’s snidely congratulating all those deplorable Pennsylvanians on their new firearms.

So many Pennsylvanians bought guns last week that our state background check system crashed. Twice.

In fact, 4,342 of you bought or transferred a gun or applied for a license to carry a gun on March 17 alone, according to a press release from the Pennsylvania State Police. Of course, those are just handgun purchases, because Pennsylvania’s laws allow the purchase of long guns with no background checks at all.

It’s no surprise that our friends and neighbors are seeking ways to feel safe during this unprecedented and frightening time. Nearly overnight, a rapidly spreading illness has forced us all into seclusion. Many jobs that seemed secure a few weeks ago are in doubt, or already eliminated. Families no longer know how they will put food on the table, and the situation is rapidly changing. Seniors are frightened for their health and their financial futures in the face of an impending economic tsunami.

The urge to self-protect makes sense.

Unfortunately, if you bought a gun last week, your home is now less safe.

Frankel, a Pittsburgh Democrat who’s been in the state House since 1999, is a reliable vote for gun control in Harrisburg and a backer of Mayor Bill Peduto’s attempt to pass local gun control ordinances in violation of state firearms preemption law as well. It’s no surprise that he has a big problem with many of his constituents choosing to purchase a firearm right now, but I suspect his lecturing is falling on deaf ears.

So we find ourselves here, with a panicked public and without any reasonable protections in place.

If you are a Pennsylvanian who bought a gun last week to protect your family from the unknown in an uncertain time, I ask that you also protect your family from the risks that we do know: Please, lock up your guns, and store your ammunition separately. If you or a loved one is experiencing a crisis, please take steps to get firearms out of reach.

We all want to protect our families and our communities. Let’s do everything we can to make sure the efforts to do so don’t themselves lead to tragedy.

We’ve been harping on gun safety and the online resources that many organizations are making available for new gun owners to access online until they can get to a range or a basic firearms course, and those online resources are going to do a far better job than Frankel in ensuring that new gun owners are safe and responsible. Remember, Frankel doesn’t think you should own a gun in the best of times, and these are far from the best of times.

If Frankel had his way, Gov. Tom Wolf would reverse his decision to keep gun stores open and simply block all sales of firearms. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, but I hope Frankel’s constituents, especially the new gun owners in his district, will remember the contempt for them displayed by their representative when they head to the polls in November. Anyone who doesn’t trust their constituents to exercise their constitutional rights, and would rather they be unarmed and helpless during an emergency doesn’t deserve to represent them at the state capitol, in my opinion.