Democrats advance gun control bills through full house without GOP support

Another year, another round of gun control measures introduced by Pennsylvania Democrats.

For the second time since the party regained the House majority, Democrats yesterday introduced five gun control measures to the Judiciary Committee, including one banning the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. The bills now await full consideration by the House.

If the measures pass the state House, the bills are unlikely to be passed by the state Senate, which has a 28-22 Republican majority. A year ago, similar bills did not reach committee. Instead, senators tried to work with Democrats to enhance funding for anti-violence and mental health programs.

Representative Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he was pleased that the committee was finally voting on such legislation to facilitate communities across the state affected by gun violence.

“Undetectable firearms and ghost guns have been a problem in this state for many years, so I’m glad we can finally start closing the loopholes and reforming state law to align with those of neighboring states and federal governments. law. I am proud that this committee is finally taking action to reduce gun violence and prosecute the bad actors who spread illegal firearms on our streets.”

One bill seeks to end the spread of “ghost guns” in Pennsylvania. House Bill 777, as amended by committee, would impose a third-degree felony on anyone who sells or buys a firearm or firearm parts without serial numbers.

“Ghost guns are far too readily available in Philadelphia and neighboring municipalities, which has a disproportionate impact on everyday gun violence in our communities, especially communities of color,” she said Representative Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia).

Here are five bills that came out of the Judiciary Committee:

House Bill 335: HB 335 prohibits the sale and possession of parts designed to enhance the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms in order to simulate the rate of fire of an automatic machine gun. This includes “growth stocks.”

House Bill 336: HB 336 would ban the possession and sale of assault weapons in the state. The bill would apply to semi-automatic and burst weapons, as well as weapons equipped with military-style grips and magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

House Bill 777: HB 777 would require people who manufacture guns to put serial numbers on gun parts. Guns without a serial number are often referred to as “ghost guns,” which are firearms that are untraceable and can be purchased by anyone without a background check.

The bill would also require serial numbers to be stamped on gun parts that do not otherwise require serialization under federal firearms law.

House Bill 1157: HB 1157 would shorten the time courts must report to state police if a person’s mental health condition disqualifies them from possessing firearms. If passed, the bill would shorten the notice period from seven days to 72-96 hours.

House Bill 1190: HB 1190 requires that 3D printed firearms be treated as standard firearms and subject to all applicable laws and regulations. The bill would also prohibit anyone from printing a firearm without a federal permit.

Republicans raised concerns about violations of constitutional rights.

“Let’s be clear: This legislation violates Second Amendment freedoms,” he said Rep. Joe Hamm (R-Lycoming/Sullivan), then pointed to Ukraine and Israel as proof that citizens should be free to arm themselves to protect their families and property. “The regulations proposed in this legislation would primarily impact law-abiding citizens while criminals continue to illegally obtain firearms.”

“I think we have to recognize that no constitutional right is absolute,” he said Rep. Emily Kinkead (D-Allegheny). “The government absolutely, based on the Supreme Court’s long history of precedent, has the ability to reasonably limit any law to protect public safety. The reality is that private citizen ownership of a machine gun does nothing to protect our communities or national security. We have the largest standing army in the world. We do not need to have the same access as Ukrainian citizens.”

Adam Garber, executive director of CeaseFirePA, a gun violence prevention group, said the passage of the bills showed a “commitment to survivors.” He called the proposal to ban automatic weapons the first of its kind in “modern times.”

“This is what it looks like to fight the violent crime that plagues cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and everywhere in between,” Garber said.

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Latest Posts