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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Local gun laws could bring lawsuits; Congressional candidate Scott Perry

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 21, 2014 2:02 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, October 22, 2014:

Section 6120 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code prohibits local municipalities from enacting their own gun laws so that they are uniform throughout the state.

That's hasn't stopped some 50 local governments from passing their own gun laws.  Most of them require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns.  That law is designed to help eliminate straw purchases where someone legally able to purchase a firearm does so and hands it over to a convicted criminal who can't legally buy a gun.  Often when the gun purchased turns up in a crime, the person who purchased it tells law enforcement it was lost or stolen.

This week the Pennsylvania legislature approved and sent to Gov. Tom Corbett a bill that would allow individuals and groups to sue municipalities that have their own gun laws.

Supporters say the bill would protect gun owners' rights and would not subject them to different laws depending on where they live.  Opponents described the would-be law as giving the gun lobby special rights and called it a license to file frivolous lawsuits.

Lancaster is one of the cities with a law that requires lost or stolen guns to be reported.  Mayor Rick Gray appears on Smart Talk to explain his opposition.

Also, with the November 4 election less than two weeks away, Smart Talk will feature conversations with area Congressional candidates.

Republican incumbent Scott Perry who represents York and Adams Counties, and part of Cumberland County along with the city of Harrisburg, joins is on Wednesday's program. 

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  • John H. img 2014-10-22 06:30

    Governor Corbett increased the tax on gasoline to pay for infrastructure repair. By the looks of the plans Secretary Schoch is planning to use the tax money to pave and install an elaborate drainage system to the already existing park and ride off route 114 near I-81. Does Congressman Perry think that this is a wise utilization of the tax money.

  • John H. img 2014-10-22 06:32

    Governor Corbett increased the tax on gasoline to pay for infrastructure repair. By the looks of the plans Secretary Schoch is planning to use the tax money to pave and install an elaborate drainage system to the already existing park and ride off route 114 near I-81. Does Congressman Perry think that this is a wise utilization of the tax money.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2014-10-22 08:38

    The gun lobby, mostly in the person of Republican legislators, believes that ANY legislation affecting citizen's right to own firearms is somehow an insult to individual rights------------they might say they don't believe this------------but their track record in fighting such legislation says otherwise.

    It doesn't matter that the safety of Pennsylvanians, and the rights of Pennsylvanians to make local zoning laws that seek to protect local residents is compromised by their ardent gun advocacy...........for them, the unrestricted right to own guns is primary.
    Reminds one of vehicle ownership and laws: there are sound reasons why we have laws regarding inspections, registration, licensure, and very defined laws establishing speed limits, passing limits, parking limits, weight limits, passenger limits, littering.....etc etc.

    The fact that local municipalities SHOULD be able to establish their own laws regarding gun use and registration is only common sense.....
    .....But common sense doesn't apply to the gun advocates in PA.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-10-22 08:47

    Tanya in Harrisburg emails:

    Thanks for another great topic on SmartTalk. Could you or Mayor Gray clarify whether the law passed by the legislature needs to be enforced or if any law on the books (even unenforced) could be subject to a lawsuit?

    Also a comment, this bill will ultimately be challenged and wrapped up in the courts. I'd be curious to know if any thought was given to the cost associated with such a fee by the legislature, since municipalities would be responsible for attorneys fees.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-10-22 08:54

    Elizabeth emails:

    Hi Scott,
    Great show, as usual.
    Our society has already established that when something has a danger potential, if miss handled; It gets regulated: IE, driving on public roads (speed, inspection of vehicle, respect of rules of the road , age allowed to drive, etc)
    Alcohol consumption (age, location permitted to sell & drink such alcohol) & many other aspect of our lives. Why is it that our legislators are allowed to be influenced by the gun lobby to refrain from legislating guns, & allowing folks who are poor thinkers to use their gun completely unregulated. There is no place for this in a civilized society.

  • jjones img 2014-10-22 09:09

    It's seems kind of funny that Congressman Perry will talk about being bi-partisan himself, but take so much of his time to talk about the President not showing up in the halls of Congress as much as he'd like, or that he wasn't invited to the White House often enough to discuss foreign affairs, etc. Sounds like a man who likes large meetings, but not much else. The country was a lot smaller in President Jefferson's time, but the Congressman should know that that President did not even deliver his state of the union addresses in person - he sent it on to be read by Congress. Yet now, with a large country, lots of representatives in Congress, he wants this president to roam the halls looking for votes. He even prefers (though of course he himself is bi-partisan) to use his time on this show to blame the Senate for so little work accomplished by anyone, or blame this president for doing too much. If Congressman Perry sees things that should be done, he could very well show leadership by saying so, getting enough in Congress to agree with him, and pass these things into law. Has he? Take a look at to see the kinds of laws he's either sponsored or co-sponsored, and decide for yourself if he has spent his time well.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2014-10-22 09:10

    Scott Perry is a prime example of why the USA is in the straits it finds itself.
    A militarist------he fails to see that the lies of war have caused U.S. to be not only the largest seller of military hardware on the planet, but the largest terrorist group in the world.
    No other country has done more to impose its will on other nations through military intervention in the last 50 years than the U.S.
    No other country has spent anywhere near the amount of money on building up and maintaining a huge military in all its manifestations.
    No other country has troops stationed throughout other countries in the world as does the U.S. and it SOFAgreements in approximately 200 nations.
    No other single country has killed the number of people or displaced through warfare the number of people the U.S. has over the last 50 years.

    ---Indisputable facts, but they are not only ignored by people in Congress like Perry, but denied.

    Nothing has been done to stop Wall St from running the show.
    The revolving door between Congress and Wall St is a given.
    The influx of money from Wall St to Congress means that the real power resides in Wall St.

    As a result of the perpetrated financial crash of 2008, Americans have lost approximately 33% of their wealth (which went to Wall Streeters, industrialists, and bankers) . . . with the end result that trust in Congress is at an all-time low.
    The first job of Congress, its mandate, is to protect the American people------but as a result of disastrous military ventures, criminal giveaways to financiers, and a total failure to address infrastructure needs here--including wages and employment----------Congress has shown itself completely inept...including Perry.