Once again, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell pounded the dais and called for tougher gun laws. Once again, mayors of cities large and small made the case for those laws. Once again, says the Philadelphia Inquirer, the odds that Pennsylvania’s legislature would enact those laws remained long at best. Advocates pleaded yesterday for “commonsense” measures – to limit handgun purchases to one a month, require reporting of lost and stolen guns, and allow cities to pass gun curbs of their own. “For too long, this legislature has been in the control of the NRA,” Rendell said. “For too long, this legislature has done things favored by lobbyists, not the people of Pennsylvania.”
Resistance to the proposals is strong. House Minority Leader Sam Smith said police and courts should do a better job of enforcing laws. He called initiatives such as limiting gun purchases to one a month “smoke and mirrors.” Smith rejected Rendell’s description of the NRA clout in Harrisburg as “delusional,” adding: “The position I have on gun control is consistent with the constituents I represent.” His district is mostly rural. Rep. Dwight Evans, who has led the fight for a package of bills designed to reduce gun violence, said the tide was turning in Harrisburg, with Democrats in control of the House for the first time in a decade and Rendell championing the measures.