Pennsylvania Dems Push Package of Gun Control Bills

( – Gun control bills are in vogue for Democratic politicians, and Pennsylvania’s Democrats are riding that wave with four new measures in the state’s House introduced on April 26th. 

The bills all came out of committee on party-line votes and may be up for a full House vote by next week.

With mass shootings and killings in the U.S. at record levels in 2023, most Democrats blame the devices themselves, not those who use them to murder. Cries of “more guns mean more death” are commonly heard from leftist gun-control advocates.

Republicans, by contrast, say many of these measures won’t do anything but take guns from the hands of law-abiding Americans who use them for self-defense. In addition, many measures, such as Washington state’s recent ban on the sale, importation, or manufacture of 29 kinds of rifles, may violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

One bill in Pennsylvania requires rifles with long barrels to be sold with trigger locks. Another bill would mandate that gun owners whose firearms are stolen must report that theft to the police within three days.

A third bill would expand the use of background checks on gun buyers, ending exceptions that currently exist for private one-to-one sales of shotguns, sports rifles, and semi-automatic rifles. Gun control advocates call these exceptions the “gun show loopholes.”

Democratic supporters say the bills are “moderate”, and will reduce gun violence, weapons trafficking, accidents, and suicides. 

The fourth bill may prove the most controversial as it would enact a “red flag law.” This would allow a judge to temporarily confiscate guns from a person if the family or police request this. Nineteen states have so-called “red flag laws.” Second Amendment supporters worry that such laws will be used to inappropriately take guns from citizens without due process.

Republican Rep. Rob Kauffman said the bills were “symbolism over actual substance” and would only take guns from law-abiding people, not criminals. 

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