PA Will Consider Alternatives To PICS Shutdown

Following sharp criticism from hunters, retailers and lawmakers, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said today he would consider alternatives to the planned Sept. 2-Sept. 6 shutdown of the state’s computerized criminal background check system to avoid interrupting firearms sales at the start of the state’s dove hunting season.Dovehunt

In a mid-morning press conference, Rendell said he would appoint a special advisory committee to look into whether the dates of the planned system shutdown for maintenance and upgrades to the state police computer system can be changed.

The Allentown Morning Call reports this afternoon that the seven-member committee will be made up of legislative and administrative appointees, representatives from the sportsmen’s community and law enforcement. It is scheduled to meet Monday and return a report by Tuesday.

As I reported here Tuesday, firearms dealers across the Keystone State were going ballistic over the timing of the shutdown, claiming they were not notified far enough in advance. Harrisburg mega-retailer Bass Pro Shops’ largest sale of the year--the Fall Hunting Classic—was scheduled for Sept. 1-9 offering special one-day-only sales on specific guns.

The governor all but admitted today that scheduling the upgrades during the first week of September was a mistake.

“Someone should have known it was the start of dove season,” Rendell said.

Right you are, Mr. Governor.