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Proposal would require a license to purchase a handgun in Pa.

Written by David Payne/Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 16, 2015 4:30 AM
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Photo by AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

(Harrisburg) -- A Democratic state senator is calling for Pennsylvanians to be required to have a license in order to purchase a handgun.

Senator Art Haywood of Montgomery County points to the lack of action in in the state since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut three years ago.

"I think about what we've done in the Pennsylvania state Senate and in our legislature. It's nothing," he says. "Nothing to respond to the killing of innocent children and adults...be it in schools, offices, movie (theaters), neighborhoods, walking up and down the street."

Under the measure, people applying for a license must be at least 18-years-old and live in Pennsylvania.

Applicants must also have completed a firearms safety course within the last three years, and must pass a fingerprint background check.

"This is all designed to discourage straw purchases," he says. "That is where someone who can pass a background check, then sells a gun to some criminal who cannot."

Haywood says to obtain a license, a person would have to apply at a law enforcement agency, like the state police or a borough police department.

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