January 22, 2019
Honorable Members of the City Council
510 City-County Office Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219
Re: Proposed Anti-Second Amendment Legislation
Dear Honorable Members:
As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), which represents more than 300,000 law-abiding American gun owners, I am writing to express my strong opposition to the proposed anti-gun legislation under consideration and the subject of your public hearing on January 24th.
The hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Americans who support the USCCA share the heartbreak and mourn those who were lost at the Tree of Life synagogue last October. Too many lives have been lost because murderous maniacs know that many Americans often don’t have the ability to protect themselves, whether they be in places of worship, schools, restaurants or shopping malls.
However, instead of moving forward with what many of us, including the Allegheny County District Attorney, believe to be an unconstitutional effort to curb Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms, we at the USCCA believe the focus of all local governments should be on supporting more responsibly-armed Americans, such as law enforcement and concealed carry permit holders, who are often the first line of defense in active shooter situations.
Roughly one out of every four Americans now own or have a gun in their home, and over 18 million Americans now have a concealed carry permit, including many women and minorities. Study after study has shown that these Americans are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country and they have the necessary knowledge, training and experience to protect those around them.
Responsible gun owners take self-defense seriously, and these individuals have already proven that they are willing to comply with the law, by fulfilling all of the requirements associated with obtaining a concealed carry permit. Criminals, by definition, have no regard for laws or permits or gun free zones, and by allowing safe, responsible citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights, our communities could be much safer.
That is why the USCCA, which is the largest and fastest-growing association whose sole focus is the responsibly armed American, is looking forward to holding our annual Concealed Carry Expo in Pittsburgh this May. Contrary to some of the mistaken, pre-conceived notions that at least one Member of your Council appears to have about this event, the Expo is first and foremost an educational and training event, designed to teach situational awareness and conflict avoidance. We stress at every level of our training that violence is the last resort. We would encourage you to join us at the Expo in May because we believe that education is key to finding common ground on self-defense issues.
Until then, we should all agree that our shared goal should always be on protecting innocent lives and allowing every law-abiding citizen to protect themselves and others. That is why you should be supporting responsibly armed Americans and not targeting them with unconstitutional legislation that will ultimately do nothing to strengthen public safety.
At the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, we will continue to stand with all gun-rights supporters in opposing efforts such as this that will undermine Americans’ right to self-defense and work together to protect our Constitutional freedoms. Instead of going after law-abiding citizens who want to responsibly own a firearm, the Pittsburgh City Council should be focusing its efforts on real crimes that drive people to take their personal protection into their own hands.
President and Founder
U.S. Concealed Carry Association
Pennsylvania judge struck down ALL THREE of the restrictive and unlawful gun ordinances that the City Council passed earlier this year.
According to Chief Counsel Joshua Prince of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, Judge James wrote:
The City has expended a large amount of energy attempting to categorize the restricted behavior in such a way that it is not expressly prohibited by Section 6120 of the UFA. Despite the City's effort to avoid the specific preemption set forth in Section 6120, they are not able to avoid the obvious intent of the Legislature to preempt this entire field.
I want to thank you for your help in always standing up for our right to keep and bear arms. Whether you wrote a letter to the Pittsburgh City Council, donated to the Allegheny County Sportsmen's League (ACSL)/Firearms Owners Against Crime (FOAC) "Pittsburgh Litigation Fund" or attended the USCCA Expo back in May, you ARE making a difference.
All of this — and the upcoming rally for gun rights in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 2 — has me on cloud nine. Don't forget that Concealed Carry Magazine Executive Editor Kevin Michalowski will be among those in attendance at the rally this Saturday, and, as always, keep March 20 to 22 open on your calendar to join us in Kansas City for what I'm certain is going to be the biggest and best Concealed Carry Expo yet.