You think proposed gun law is controversial, Franklintown required guns for 12 years
This old post office represents the past in Franklintown, on the former main way between Baltimore and Harrisburg. (For a view of the new, see photo below.) To locate this small, changing borough, Warrington, Carroll, Washington and Franklin townships all meet east of town. Background posts: Franklintown second cousin to neighboring Dillsburg and Birthday borough Dillsburg: ‘Seems to be York County’s wild child’ and Flag expert: ‘I was interested in my nation’s heritage’.
Northwestern York County’s tiny Franklintown borough has been in the news because of earthquakes in those parts.
But the town regularly made it in national headlines from 1982 to 1994 when its books contained a law that all residents had to own guns.
Townsmen even appeared on Donohue to talk about their ordinance.
Today, towns statewide are considering adopting law that lost and stolen firearms are to be reported to police within 72 hours.
That’s controversial, but not as much so as the never-enforced, mostly symbolic Franklintown law… .
Harrisburg commuters are settling in and around. Condominiums are sprouting on former fields where farmers toiled for generations.
Here’s a summary of the law, as appearing in a May 2, 1994, Associated Press story:
“Although the 12-year-old mandatory- gun ordinance was never meant to be enforced, opponents say it gives this south-central Pennsylvania town of 400 a bad image.
” ‘We’re not a bunch of gun-toting rednecks,’ said Councilman Leon Rudy, who is seeking a repeal of the law. ‘I’m tired of being known as the town with the unusual gun ordinance.’ ”
“Supporters say the ordinance was designed to prevent gun control. They know their ordinance could be overridden but want to keep it on the books to make a point.
” ‘Sometimes you have to overdramatize things to get the point across,’ ” said Councilman Richard Blouch, who was council president when the measure was adopted in May 1982.
“The Franklintown ordinance requires each household head to maintain a firearm and ammunition. Exempted are those who have a physical disability, oppose firearms on religious grounds or have been convicted of a crime. The law does not specify penalties.”
The law, which went on the books in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, was repealed in 1994.
But there was some consolation for those on the losing end of that 5-2 repeal vote.
After the repeal meeting in July 1994, Blouch told the York Daily Record that while he lost the fight in Franklintown, he did influence a recent vote in a small town in northern Maine to adopt a similar ordinance.
Other York Town Square posts exploring northwestern and western York County:
– Big Conewago serves as physical, symbolic divider of York County culture.
– The American hobo comes to York Springs.
– Pan-demic, rather dredge-demic, gold fever strikes York County in 2009.
– Dempwolf’s Ashcombe Mansion in Cumberland County: ‘I spent a fortune on this house. It’s crazy’.
– Warrington Quakers begin meeting with hands folded and end with handshake
– Charles Dickens on northern York County: ‘The gloom of evening gave … air of mystery’.
– York County: It’s shaped like a horse’s …..
– Scenic Yellow Breeches snakes along York County’s northern boundary.
– Pennsylvanian Daniel Drawbaugh: ‘The Edison of the Cumberland Valley’.
– Photographer tramps to far reaches of York County.