TURN PA BLUE – WHAT HAS OUR LEGISLATURE DONE ABOUT GUN CONTROL

Whenever a tragedy, like the one in Florida last week, hits, many of us look to the Federal government for relief. Unfortunately, that did not materialize after Sandy Hook. But Connecticut has made positive legislative changes since the massacre there in 2012, and despite what the detractors say, these laws are working.

Pennsylvania also has some very good laws on gun control, but the State does not:

  1. Require a background check when an unlicensed person sells a rifle or shotgun;

  2. Require gun owners to report if their guns are lost or stolen;

  3. Allow courts to issue protective orders to prevent dangerous people other than domestic abusers from having access to guns;

  4. Have laws to prevent children or other unauthorized people from having easy access to unlocked firearms;

  5. Allow local governments to regulatefirearms or ammunition;

  6. Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons50 caliber riflesor large capacity ammunition magazines;

  7. Require firearm owners to obtain a license;

  8. Require the registration of firearms;

  9. Regulate ammunition sales; or

  10. Provide local law enforcement with discretion to deny a license to carry firearms.

New gun legislation has rarely been sponsored during recent sessions of the Pennsylvania legislature. One bill that was introduced last year came from Don White, Republican State Senator from Indiana County.  Senate Bill 383, would allow teachers trained in the use of firearms to carry concealed weapons in schools during normal hours of operation, in the event of being attacked.

In 2014 Act 192 was signed into law by Governor Corbett, giving groups such as the NRA the right to sue municipalities for adopting gun control measures within their jurisdictions. Since then, the law was “shot down” by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as unconstitutional, but it is instructive to see the list of local incumbents who supported this bill. Here are the names of legislators from our region, along with their NRA ratings as well as whether they had supported Act 192, which in effect would preempt local firearm regulations.

District #CountyGeographic AreaIncumbentNRA RATINGACT 192 MUNICIPAL PREEMPTION(2014)HOUSE 26Chester Tim Hennessey – R43%Yes61MontgomeryMontgomeryville, Blue Bell, Plymouth Meeting,Kate Harper – R21%Yes74Chester – most flippable districtDowningtown, Coatesville, ParkesburgHarry Lewis-R21% 146MontgomeryPottsgrove,some Pottstown, Trappe, some SchwenksvilleTom Quigley-R93% 150MontgomeryCollegeville, Trooper, Audubon, SkippackMichael Corr-R43% 151MontgomeryMontgomery Twp, Horsham, part Upper Dublin, part Lower GwyneddTodd Stephens-R57%No152MontgomeryBryn Athyn Hatboro Lower Moreland Township Upper Dublin Township (PART, Districts 03, 06 and 07)Upper Moreland Township   some Willow GroveThomas Murt-R43%Yes155ChesterKimberton, Birchrunville, Lydell, Icedale, Marsh Creek SP East Brandywine Township East Pikeland Township Phoenixville (PART, Ward North) Spring City Upper Uwchlan Township Uwchlan Township West Brandywine TownshipWest Vincent TownshipBecky Corbin-R79%Y157ChesterOaks, Chesterbrook, TredyffrinWarren Kampf-R21%Yes 162DelawareTinicum Twp., Ridley, Philly AirportNick Miccarelli-R57%Yes 163DelawareUpper Darby, some HavertownJames Santora-R36% 177PhillyPort Richmond, Bridesburg, MayfairJohn Taylor-R50%Yes147MontgomeryDouglas TownshipMarcy Toepel-R93%Yes167ChesterExton, Malvern,Duane Milne-R43%YesSENATE 6BucksBensalem Township Bristol Bristol Township Hulmeville Ivyland Langhorne Langhorne Manor Lower Southampton Township Middletown Township Northampton Township Penndel Warwick Township Wrightstown TownshipRobert “Tommy” Tomlinson-R (retiring)B+Yes12Montgomery/ BucksUpper Southampton Township Warminster Township Warrington Township Ambler Bryn Athyn Franconia Township Hatboro Hatfield Hatfield Township Horsham Township Lower Gwynedd Township Lower Moreland Township Montgomery Township North Wales Souderton Telford (Montgomery County Portion) Upper Gwynedd Township Upper Moreland TownshipStewart Greenleaf – R – hisB-No24Montgomery/ Bucks/Berks Bob Mensch – RAYes 44Montgomery/ Chester/ BerksCollegeville Limerick Township Lower Pottsgrove Township Lower Providence Township Royersford Upper Providence Township West Norriton Township Worcester TownshipJohn Rafferty – RAYes

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