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State Legislature Passes 'Brad Fox Law'

The law does not implement new restrictions on firearm sales or purchases.

A Brad Fox Law is headed for Gov. Tom Corbett's desk, though it's perhaps not the one some gun control advocates might hope for.

House Bill 898, which imposes a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for the second and subsequent violations of the provisions of state law governing the sale of firearms, was unanimously passed by the state Senate on Wednesday.

The law also permanently revokes any license to sell, import, or manufacture firearms from such violators.

The bill, now known as the "Brad Fox Law," was passed by the state House in April 2011. State Representative Marcy Toepel (R-147), who introduced the bill, said it had taken on "new significance" in the wake of Fox's murder last month. Fox's apparent killer, Andrew Thomas, who was not permitted to own firearms, allegedly purchased the murder weapon from Michael Henry, who is accused of selling nine weapons to Thomas after meeting him earlier this year.

"Straw purchasers significantly contribute to gun violence in Pennsylvania’s towns and cities," said Toepel in a statement released by the PA House Republican Caucus. "I am pleased my colleagues agree that this legislation is needed to better protect residents of our communities across the state."

The law does not implement any new restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms.

State Rep. Mike Vereb (R-150) told The Times Herald that legislators are planning to have Gov. Corbett come to Plymouth Township for a signing ceremony.

The law would take effect 60 days after Corbett signs it.

samantha miller October 18, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Glad to see something is being done bout our gun law. Sad that it had to happen after we lost a cop n United States Marine. May you Rest In Peace Brad Fox! Forever in our hearts.
Smiley October 18, 2012 at 01:35 PM
So the 'straw purchaser' will get a tougher sentence. What are we going to do to catch more of these people who are acting as 'straw purchasers'?
John Q. Public October 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
BHO's Fast-n'-Furious, a program to knowingly allow 'straw purchases,' is not the way. I recall BATF agents went to the homes of multiple gun purchasers they suspected, asking to see the newly purchased guns, but were stopped by the ACLU. I favor any punishment, up to death, for straw sellers, but also purchasers, as they reflect badly on legal gun owners.
Jay Mock October 18, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I hope not only does this criminal go to prison , but I hope the Fox family sues this ahole , so he loses any profits he made with straw - purchases of guns.
Russ perrucci October 18, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I think a mandatory life sentence would be better suited. Brad's daughter and unborn child will have never had the chance to know their father because this junkie wanted to make a quick $500.
Bruce Bailey October 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM
How many guns does one person need? Does the state keep a database of individual purchases? Why not automatically kick in a 60-day waiting/investigation period for anyone buying more than, say, two guns per year? There must be a stronger way to react to this tragedy than saying "when we catch you, you're really gonna get it" after somebody - especially a police officer - gets shot.
Jessica Kyle October 18, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I think he should get the same punishment the murderer would have gotten. The straw purchaser knowing that this piece of crap person couldn't purchase guns on his own should have thought twice as to the reason he couldn't purchase them the legal way. Equally responsible for sure.
We October 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
How many guns does one need to kill someone else? One. A 60 day waiting period is thus useless. Here in NY an attorney went thru a 6 month process to buy a gun, then shot killed his kids after bludgeoning his estranged wife to death with a bat.
Bruce Bailey October 18, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Except that in this case, we are talking about straw purchasers, not killers. Straw purchasers buy guns in bulk and resell them to others. A law like this would at least set off an alert that the buy should be looked at closely. It's not ideal, but it's a start.
James Shingler October 19, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Agree with Bruce - there has to be some sort of data bank established that would 'red light' a purchaser of more than two weapons per year. Our founding fathers did indeed support 'the right to bear arms' - but they dealt with muskets, not semi-automatic weapons.
Dynamo47 October 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Sadly an officer had to be killed for this law to even be introduced.
Hale October 26, 2012 at 04:36 PM
It's ALREADY illegal to transfer handguns to a person who has been denied a purchase. It's called transferring a firearm to a Prohibited Person. It's already both a FEDERAL and a State level felony. This law is nothing more than "feel-good, do-something-do-ANYTHING" and does nothing to prevent crime. Handguns in Pennsylvania ARE ALREADY registered in a State Police database. This clown should have known that any gun that he gives/sells/transfers to a "prohibited person", if used in a crime and found, would be traced back to him. As for "How many guns does one person need" - however many they want and can afford. It's a right, period. Some people can't accept that, but too bad. You want it changed, get two-thirds of each State and two-thirds of the entire Country to agree to change it. That's one of the prices of living in a country that values freedom. 60-day waiting period? Really? Yeah, that'll solve LOTS of crime, for sure, because we all know that law-abiding citizens - who are the ONLY people who will be impacted by that particular infringement on our right - cause the most crime. New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and yet they have Camden - No. 1 Murder city in the country at various times, Newark, Trenton, competing with Detroit (another "Gun Control Paradise" and Chicago). All the laws in the land don't stop idiot people from being idiots. I'll keep my ability to defend my family, my life and my rights, no matter what.
Hale October 26, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Our Founders would have used semi AND full auto weapons in a heartbeat if they existed. Amendment 2 says "Right of the people to Keep and Bear ARMS" not "Single shot muskets", it was written for the ages, NOT the day. And if you hate that argument, you'll hate this more: It does in fact mean small arms of military capability; nothing to do with duck, deer hunting. SCOTUS established years ago it does indeed mean man-portable military-style small arms. Your statement is like saying "The Founders never envisioned the Internet, only Gutenberg's prntng press, so Free Speech only applies to newspapers and books". Do some historical research. And there IS a "databank" already. ALL handgun purchases in PA are registered with PA SP at point of sale; happens when you fill out the PA State Police form and the Federal Form 4473. Law abiding Citizens with guns aren't the problem. People who don't respect your most basic HUMAN RIGHT - to defend your life, family, and property and be left alone and unmolested are the problem. You REALLY believe that allowing only "two guns a year" will stop crime? Criminals get guns by stealing them for the most part. They'll REALLY be intimidated when they realize they can only steal "two guns per year". Again, if you don't like the system get two thirds of the state and every other state to agree with you and amend the Constitution - Both State and Federal. Our State Constitution is also pretty specific about this right as well.
Hale October 26, 2012 at 05:09 PM
It's ALREADY illegal to transfer handguns to a person who has been denied a purchase. It's called transferring a firearm to a Prohibited Person. It's already both a FEDERAL and a State level felony. This law is nothing more than "feel-good, do-something-do-ANYTHING" and does nothing to prevent crime. it's already illegal to murder a person - cop or civilian. Tell me what this law will do to prevent more crime? Yes, it IS sad that the cop was killed. It's just as sad when ANYONE gets murdered. There's over 20 thousand gun laws on the books already. Yet one more is going to solve crime and make idiots stop being idiots? Doubtful.
Bruce Bailey October 26, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I absolutely would LOVE to take your guns away. And maybe some day this country will get a Supreme Court that will interpret the 2nd Amendment the way it should be interpretted - that if you want to have unfettered access to guns, you need to join an official, regulated militia. Anybody else - tough. And any non-militia member caught with a gun gets an automatic multiyear jail sentence. Won't happen in my lifetime, but someday, once this country gets some sanity about this subject.
Jack Minster October 26, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Chill guys. I'm a Patron Member of the NRA and none of you has spent more time or money fighting dopey left-wingnut gun laws than I have. When he was PA Attorney General, Tom Corbett fought hard against straw purchasers where it causes serious problems in Philly. No wonder he signed it immediately. Brad-Fox gives Distract Attorneys one more charge to extend prison sentences for unlawful gun users committing crimes. Doesn't affect us. We buy and sell guns to each other, negotiate, settle on a price, but then we bring them to gun stores and pay the state fee and fill out the pink form, all legal and copasetic. Right? (you guys ain't breakin' no laws now, is ya) If you obey the law, Brad-Fox will not affect you. It will help protect your carry rights in the long run, taking more bad guys out of circulation and for longer.
Hale October 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
To Bruce Bailey: "...I absolutely would LOVE to take your guns away..." Yeah, pretty easy to see that. But here's your problem, bud: +85 Million people in this country own guns legally - that are "known". That doesn't count the off paper firearms that people own as well, and that never registered them. Of that number, about 1/3 are die-hard "Never Give them Up Under Any Circumstances"-type folks - former military, LEO, and otherwise. I'm sure you can do the math; that's a hell of a lot of people - some of whom that have skillsets that should scare the hell out of folks who "would love to take your guns away". This same one-third are good, loyal Americans - not "citizens of the world", not good little liberal apparachtniks and consider ANY attempt to disarm them and take away a right that people died to protect as treasonous, and they will fight to protect it at any cost. So folks w/ the 'ban guns" mentality have a serious problem. Enact those type of laws - which, incidentally, they have in communist countries, and the Nazis had them as well - and you will have a civil war on your hands. But I guess that's ok as long as you're not the one who has to go door-to-door and face those folks. It's much better when it's somebody else, "just following orders", who gets that task, right? That's the price of living in a country that values freedom, like it or not. You want to change it, get two-thirds of the country to agree. Good luck w/that.
Hale October 27, 2012 at 03:57 PM
"...If you obey the law, Brad-Fox will not affect you..." Understood, but it's already illegal to do what this miscreant did. Guy was a prohibited person, and that's already a crime to transfer it to him. Point is, that law's already in place and it didn't stop the crime. We'll see if harsher sentencing solves anything, but I doubt it.
Christy May January 11, 2013 at 01:27 PM
If you read the above it states this law was brought up in 2011 & was just re-named after Bread Fix was shot and killed.
Christy May January 11, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Sorryautocorrect......Brad Fox
John Q. Public January 11, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Paul Revere's famous ride to warn civilians about the government's plan to seize their 'assault' rifles was in vain? Only about 1/3 of the 1775 population supported liberty, the rest either profited from the conflict, or supported firearm's confiscation. History is repeating itself.
Stevi January 11, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Brad was family but I have to agree with Hale. Brad was a Marine who fought for these same rights that many people now want to revoke in his name. How does that honor his memory? What I would like to see is the straw purchasers receiving identical punishment as the perpetrators of the crimes they armed unlawfully the first time around, none of this 'second offense' nonsense.

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