Gun Laws

General Assembly
7:54 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Municipal Gun Laws Targeted In 11th Hour Legislative Session

In the eleventh hour of this year’s state legislative session, Republicans are again trying to pass legislation that would allow citizens and groups to sue municipalities that pass gun laws.

House Bill 1796 was drafted by Representative Todd Stephens, a Republican from Montgomery County, and meant to beef up protections for victims of domestic violence.

An amendment approved in the Senate late last night added language that has come before the legislature in the past.

Stephen said he’d prefer to see the bill pass clean.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:24 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Permitting School Officials to Carry Concealed Weapons

Credit Paul Weaver / Flickr

State Senator Don White wants Pennsylvania school districts to be able to permit their staff to carry firearms in school buildings and on the grounds.

Supporters say his proposal would make schools safer but critics are arguing for more police. We talked with Senator White and Shira Goodman, Executive Director of Cease Fire Pennsylvania.

Here is what Essential Pittsburgh listeners on Twitter had to say about Senator White's decision to propose this legislation in response to the stabbings at Franklin Regional High School last spring.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:38 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

An Update on Recent Firearm Legislation from Harrisburg

New legislation is being pushed to the Pennsylvania House after a committee voted on and approved to move the bills to the floor.
Credit Michael Saechang / Flickr

The state House Judiciary Committee released an agenda on five firearms related bills this week, including an approved measure that would make municipalities that pass gun restrictions susceptible to law suits.

90.5 WESA State Capitol correspondent Mary Wilson says under the municipality bill, challengers of local gun restrictions would have the legal standing necessary to ask for court review of an ordinance.

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Government & Politics
6:53 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Aliquippa Officials call on State Lawmakers to Support Stricter Background Checks for Guns

The Beaver County Borough of Aliquippa of has grappled with violence for decades, though its mayor says things are getting better. In an effort to further reduce violence, Mayor Dwan Walker along with community and faith leaders called on state lawmakers Friday to support stronger background checks for gun sales.

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Gun Debate
3:10 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Poll Shows Toomey's More Popular Than Ever

If anyone is still asking whether Republican Pat Toomey did any damage to his reputation, a new survey puts the question to bed: Nope.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows the state’s junior U.S. senator has emerged from his foray into the gun control debate with his highest ever approval rating.

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Politics
7:46 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Toomey Strikes Conciliatory, Final Note on Gun Debate

For Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, speaking to the annual conservative confab known as the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference days after the end of his brief foray into the gun debate was like heading into the belly of the beast.

The senator worked the crowd, shaking hands with people who politely told him they disagreed with his support for expanding background checks on firearm purchases. Introductory remarks that touched on Toomey’s failed amendment elicited sounds of dissent from the seated audience.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Senator Toomey on Gun Reform: Where Do We Go From Here?

Senator Pat Toomey with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin
Credit Toomey.Senate.Gov

  Last week Senators Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin took a bipartisan approach to gun reform that would have extended the existing background check system to gun shows and online sales.  This week, their legislation was blocked in the Senate. We'll talk to Senator Toomey about where gun reform can go from here.

Gun Laws
3:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Blocks Expanded Gun Sale Background Checks

Updated Post: 4:56 p.m.

Senate Republicans, backed by rural-state Democrats, blocked legislation Wednesday to tighten restrictions on the sale of firearms, rejecting personal pleas made by families of the victims of last winter's mass elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Attempts to ban assault-style rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines also faced certain defeat in a series of showdown votes four months after a gunman killed 20 elementary school children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Closing Pennsylvania's Gun Loophole

PA State Capitol - Harrisburg
Credit Don Shall / Flickr

As talks about gun legislation continue in the U.S. Senate, groups have descended on the state capitol in Harrisburg urging legislators to close a loophole in Pennsylvania's gun laws. State Reps. Steve Santarsiero and Dan Frankel join us to talk about balancing Second Amendment rights with public safety.

Gun Laws
3:40 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Sen. Toomey Part of Effort to Expand Gun Background Checks

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is part of a bipartisan effort to apply existing background checks to more kinds of firearm purchases.

The legislation was hammered out by Toomey, Pennsylvania's junior U.S. senator, and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, both of whom have strong ties with the National Rifle Association.

"Common ground is found I think based on the proposition that criminals and mentally ill people shouldn’t have guns," he said. "And I don’t think that should be a controversial idea."

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