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Flurry of proposals address gun safety in PA

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 19, 2013 3:59 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Some state lawmakers are seizing on a perceived shift in attitudes on gun safety measures to push for reforms. 

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Several new bills proposed by Democratic Representative Ron Waters, who represents parts of Delaware and Philadelphia counties, would ban military-style assault weapons and roll back the so-called "Castle Doctrine," which allows Pennsylvanians to use deadly force in cases of self-defense.

Democratic Representative Dan Frankel of Allegheny County says he thinks the Newtown, Connecticut shootings have made some of his colleagues more likely to talk about gun safety measures. "After being involved in this issue for 15 years, I do sense a palpable difference among many of my colleagues with respect to a willingness to have the conversation."

Madeleine Dean, a Democrat from Montgomery County, says gun safety laws need to be updated as technology evolves. "Technology has changed. The way we purchase and transfer weapons has changed, and so I think we have to be a little more adept in changing our legislation to speak to those issues."

Dean says some lawmakers also want to form a special caucus that would address gun safety measures and other issues.

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Comments: 1

  • teebonicus img 2013-02-19 12:07

    How many more times must the ignorant be reminded that fundamental rights are not subject to majority opinion for their existence, and that so-called "assault weapons" (sic) in the modern lexicon are not really assault weapons, at all?

    How many more times must the ill-informed be reminded that there are three key precedents that prohibit the government from banning semiautomatic firearms?

    U.S. v. Miller - Protected arms are those "in common use" that "bear some reasonable relationship to the preservation . . . of a well-regulated militia".

    D.C. v. Heller - "Held:

    "1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes[.] . . . (f) . . . United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54." - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

    McDonald v. City of Chicago - "We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings. It is so ordered." - MCDONALD ET AL. v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ET AL.

    These are not mere inconveniences for the Democrats' argument, they are fatal to it.

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