New Gun Control Initiatives (PA)

Not open for further replies.


Sep 13, 2005
It's my understanding that the state law is pretty solid on gun rights. This still isn't a good sign, though...

Evans vows new effort to revise gun laws

By Michael Currie Schaffer
Inquirer Staff Writer

With one eye on the mayoral race in Philadelphia and another on the new Democratic majority in Harrisburg, State Rep. Dwight Evans yesterday vowed to reintroduce the package of gun-control measures that the GOP-run General Assembly batted down before the elections last fall.

Evans (D., Phila.), whose mayoral campaign has focused strongly on crime, said he had a commitment from the new Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee to at least allow the measures to come up for a vote on the floor of the state's House of Representatives. Last year, the measures came up only for a nonbinding, non-recorded straw vote.

The package includes measures that would ban assault weapons, limit handgun purchases to one a month, and allow Philadelphia to establish its own gun rules. Supporters say such laws would hamper gun-smugglers and violent criminals without stepping on the rights of hunters.

Surrounded by area legislative colleagues and gun-control supporters at a City Hall news conference yesterday, Evans predicted that the package would have an easier time in the newly elected legislature.

"What is different is that we have 50 new members in the House who are not entrenched in their thinking, who will listen to reason," Evans said.

He said that a crackdown on firearms had strong support among suburban legislators as well as officials in other Pennsylvania cities such as Reading, whose mayor sent a letter of support, and Allentown, whose mayor was on hand at the event.

Reading is also the home of the incoming Judiciary Committee chairman, Thomas R. Caltagirone (D., Berks). Caltagirone stood with Evans yesterday and vowed that the bills would not be bottled up in the committee.

"We will get it to the floor of the House and have a vote," he said.

But what will happen then is considerably less certain. Despite the Democrats' one-vote majority, Harrisburg-watchers say the odds of passing significant firearms measures remain long because gun politics in the state are as much about region as about party. Rural legislators on both sides of the aisle tend to break against gun control, which has its strongest supporters in cities and suburbs.

Democratic Majority Leader Bill DeWeese (D., Greene), for instance, is a strong supporter of the National Rifle Association.

"We want to be careful to create new laws without ensuring that the current ones are being enforced," DeWeese's spokesman, Tom Andrews, said yesterday.

House Speaker Dennis M. O'Brien (R., Phila.), could not be reached for comment. O'Brien's office said he was focused mainly on getting the house up and running and his main priorities were reform measures, rather than gun laws.

As a committee chairman in the past, O'Brien refused to allow votes on the one-gun-a-month measures, reasoning that they were doomed in the GOP-run chamber.

"I don't think you're going to see radical changes in Pennsylvania's gun laws in the near future," said Joseph P. McLaughlin Jr., a Temple University professor and former city lobbyist in Harrisburg.

Still, Evans allies noted that one reason Republicans had previously avoided a vote was that it might divide their own caucus, with some suburban or urban legislators voting for the package.

"They understand that the hunters in their districts will not be affected by these proposals," said Rep. Michael Gerber (D., Montgomery). "They understand that the homeowners who want to protect their homes will not be affected."

For Evans, the new legislative push provides an opportunity to use his senior Harrisburg position - he chairs the powerful Appropriations Committee - to get involved in an issue that is popular with voters in May's Democratic mayoral primary.

The downside of the effort, though, is that it could be defeated in full public view just as those voters head to the polls.

"We're putting a process together," he said yesterday. "That's what people want."
All firearms owners will need to stand together agains this. Hunters have to look out for the semi owners and everybody needs to stand with the handgun owners. Incrementalism will defeat us in time, every time.
The second amendment has nothing to do with f'ing hunting!

I'm in PA and I plan to fight this tooth-and-nail. A few (okay, a bunch) of bad apple drug monkeys in Philladelphia do not need to ruin everything for everyone in the rest of the state.

If Philly's goverment would get off of their plutocrat butts and do something about the city's enconomic problems the drug problem would largely go away, and so would the gun 'problem.'
I'm in PA and I plan to fight this tooth-and-nail. A few (okay, a bunch) of bad apple drug monkeys in Philladelphia do not need to ruin everything for everyone in the rest of the state.

A bunch of bad apple drug monkeys released by liberal judges, having served only a fraction of their sentences from previous convictions...

When arguing with the victim disarmament crowd, it's necessary to point out their role in enabling violence through catch 'n release law enforcement. Not many violent offenders lacking an inch or so of prior criminal record.
Supporters say such laws would hamper gun-smugglers and violent criminals without stepping on the rights of hunters

Screw the hunters in this case :fire: . When did it become ok to flat out ignore the constitution when trying to pass laws? The 2A has NOTHING to do with hunting. This law would only "hamper" law abiding gun owners. Gun smugglers and violent criminals will continue on without much notice of yet another stupid law. I slowly grow less and less patriotic and more anti-american every day. When is enough going to be enough? If more laws get passed to the point where only "sporting arms" are allowed I swear I will become a lobbist for every anti-hunting group I can find. These freaking sportsmen for Kerry types that could only care if they come after their duck guns make me sick.
Not open for further replies.