Pennsylvania’s House Judiciary Committee easily defeated two key gun-control bills despite a dramatic appearance by Gov. Ed Rendell urging tougher gun laws to curb violence, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Rendell’s 40-minute appearance, in which he sought to refute gun-lobby arguments about weak enforcement of current laws and drive home polls indicating that most Pennsylvanians favor some forms of gun control, appeared to change few minds.
National Rifle Association lobbyist John Hohenwater said the votes showed committee members had no appetite to restrict gun rights in an attempt to solve Philadelphia’s crime problem. With no debate, the Democrat-controlled committee defeated a bill to limit most handgun purchases to one per month, 17-12, and a bill to empower local governments to enact gun-control laws, 19-10. Rep. Craig Dally called the one-handgun-a-month limit “illogical.” He said: “The governor was long on rhetoric and light on statistics. There was no nexus provided that indicated what he was asking for would have any impact on reducing crime.”