HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – The debate over guns is reviving in Pennsylvania’s Legislature, although Democrats say the process ignores their top priorities and could end up loosening gun laws.
Tuesday marked the start of a two-day Senate committee hearing on gun violence and a slate of House committee votes on gun-related legislation.
The action follows a burst of gun violence in Philadelphia and the wounding of six city police officers in a standoff. Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature is historically protective of gun rights.
The House committee unanimously advanced legislation to more swiftly take away guns from someone who was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.
Another bill it advanced would make it harder and more expensive for municipalities to defend their firearms ordinances against lawsuits, although that’s likely to draw Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto released a statement on this measure:
“While gun violence continues to plague communities across the state and the nation, cities like Pittsburgh are doing their jobs and acting to protect their citizens. Pennsylvania residents support this, with a majority of voters calling for additional gun safety measures, according to the latest statewide poll from Franklin & Marshall College.
Instead of representing the people, Republicans in Harrisburg support gun manufacturers and their lobbyists.
I call on state lawmakers to stand up for their constituents and oppose H.B. 1066, and I commend Governor Wolf for his announcement that he will veto the bill if it comes to his desk.”
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