By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — A standing-room-only audience of 165 people, many of them concerned that their constitutional right to bear arms is being threatened by the call for stricter gun-control laws, attended Monday night’s Susquehanna Valley Conservatives’ meeting to hear state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who has launched a campaign to fight federal and state gun-control proposals.
Metcalfe spent more than half an hour explaining to the audience in the Baylor East Conference Room of the Best Western Country Cupboard Inn that any kind of gun restrictions would be an attack on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 21, of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
“There has to be a rallying cry for people to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘We are not going to allow this to happen to our guns,’” he said.
Metcalfe is against any universal gun registration proposals, such as the one being discussed in Washington, D.C. “Gun registration leads to gun confiscation,” Metcalfe said, “and that scares me. That the government wants to register all firearms should scare everyone.”
The eight-term Republican from Butler, often called the Legislature’s No. 1 conservative, made no apologies for that opinion. He is against any kind of gun control and believes “armed, law-abiding citizens are the best deterrent against crime.”
For that reason, he proposed legislation on Jan. 23 — House Bill 357 — that would make any new federal gun-control laws unenforceable in Pennsylvania. “The legislation says to the federal government, back off,” he said, explaining that the Pennsylvania Constitution guarantees the “God-given right” to own guns in order to defend your family and yourself.
“We are not going to allow our rights to be violated,” he said.
His bill has more than 70 sponsors in the House; 102 are needed to pass it.