The Summit Township Supervisors adopted Ordinance #38-2021 at the June 1, 2021 Meeting.
Ordinance No. 38-2021
SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY ORDINANCE FOR SUMMIT TOWNSHIP, POTTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
SECTION 1. FINDINGS
The Supervisors of Summit Township, Potter County, Pennsylvania, find and declare:
- Acting through the United States Constitution, the people created government to be their agent in the exercise of a few defined powers, while reserving to the citizens the right to decide on matters which concern their lives, liberty and property in the ordinary course of affairs;
- The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”’
- Article I, Section 21 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania states, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned”;
- The right of the People to keep and bear arms is further protected from infringement by State and Local Governments under the Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America.
- The Supreme Court of the United States of America in District of Columbia v. Heller recognized the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States of America’s Constitution. Justice Antonin Scalia’s prevailing opinion in that case stated that the Second Amendment protects an Individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and the right to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home;
- Section I of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”;
- The Supreme Court of the United States recognized in McDonald v. City of Chicago that the Second Amendment to the Constitution was incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment and thereby made applicable to the States;
- The right to be free from the commandeering hand of government has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v. United States. The Court held: “The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a Federal regulatory process.
- Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right that shall not be infringed; and all local, state, and federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition are a violation of the Second Amendment;
- Local Governments have the legal authority to refuse to cooperate with State and Federal firearm laws that violate those rights and to proclaim a Second Amendment Sanctuary for law-abiding citizens in their municipalities, cities and counties;
- Therefore, through the enactment of this document, Summit Township, Potter County, Pennsylvania, is hereby a Second Amendment Sanctuary.
SECTION 2. PROHIBITIONS
- Notwithstanding any other law, regulation, rule or order to the contrary, no agent, department, employee or official of Summit Township of Potter County, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, while acting in their official capacity shall:
- Knowingly and willingly, participate in any way in the enforcement of any Unlawful Act, as defined herein, regarding personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.
- Utilize any assets, Summit Township funds, or funds allocated by any entity to the Municipality, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids in the enforcement or investigation relating to the UNLAWFUL ACT in connection with personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.
- This ordinance does not regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components. On the contrary, this ordinance prohibits the enforcement of UNLAWFUL ACTS or use of assets, Summit Township Funds, or funds allocated by an entity in the county, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids in the enforcement or investigation relating to an UNLAWFUL ACT.
SECTION 3. PENALTIES
- An UNLAWFUL ACT shall consist of any Federal or State act, law, order, rule, or regulation, which restricts an individual’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms, including any Federal or State act, law, order, rule, or regulation which bans or effectively bans, registers or effectively registers, or limits the lawful use of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition (other than a fully automatic firearm manufactured on or after May 19, 1986, possession of which is generally prohibited under Federal law) except in accordance with Protection From Abuse orders, criminal statutes prohibiting possession by persons convicted of crimes, and similar valid Federal and State laws, regulations, and court orders. Any such UNLAWFUL ACT is invalid in Summit Township and shall not be recognized by the Township, and shall be considered NULL, VOID and of NO EFFECT, and this includes but shall not be limited to the following:
- Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services on the purchase or ownership of those items by citizens;
- Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by citizens of the legal age of eighteen and over, other than pursuant to Federal law background check requirements for transfers or purchase through FFL dealers or in accordance with Protection From Abuse Orders, criminal statutes prohibiting possession by persons convicted of crimes, and similar valid Federal and State laws, regulations and court orders;
- Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from citizens except in accordance with Protection From Abuse Orders, criminal statues prohibiting possession by persons convicted of crimes, and similar valid Federal and State laws, regulations and court orders;
- Any prohibition, regulation, and/or use restriction related to ownership inconsistent with the constitutionally guaranteed lawful use or carry of non-fully automatic firearms.
- Anyone within the jurisdiction of Summit Township, Potter County, Pennsylvania, accused to be in violation of this ordinance may be sued in the Court of Common Pleas of Potter County, Pennsylvania for declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorney’s fees.
- Any State Police Officer may enforce this Ordinance.
- Any person who shall violate any provisions of this Ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than One Thousand ($1000.00) Dollars and costs and, in default of payment, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed Thirty (30) days. All prosecutions shall be brought before the Magisterial District Judge having jurisdiction over summary violations that occur in Summit Township.
- The protections provided to citizens by this ordinance do not apply to persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms under Federal law; or permanently prohibited from possessing firearms under the laws of this Commonwealth pursuant to conviction in a criminal court.
- This ordinance is not intended to prohibit or affect in any way the prosecution of any crime for which the use of, or possession of a firearm in an aggravating factor or enhancement to an otherwise independent crime.
- This ordinance does not permit or otherwise allow the possession of firearms in locations where possession of firearms is prohibited under Federal law or the laws of this Commonwealth.
- This ordinance does not prohibit enforcement of Protection from Abuse Orders, criminal statutes prohibiting possession by person convicted of crimes and similar valid Federal and State laws, regulations and court orders.
- This ordinance does not prohibit individuals from voluntarily participating or assisting in permitting, licensing, registration or other processing of applications for a License to Carry Firearms, a PICS check, or other firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition licensing or registration processes that may be required by law.
SECTION 4. SEVERABILITY
- The provisions of this act are hereby declared to be severable, and if any provision of this act or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this act.