PA Gun Control “Ain’t Gonna Happen”: Legislator


Why did gun control bills emotionally endosed last week by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell fail? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that State Rep. Dan Frankel said that opposition e-mail messages outnumbered advocates about 1,000 to 10. “There’s no political penalty for those that don’t support [gun control] measures, but there is a political penalty if they do,” he said. Pennsylvania has nearly 1 million licensed hunters, second only to Texas. About one-fourth of them are NRA members, putting Pennsylvania among its top three states for both total and per-capita membership. As to whether passage of gun control bills is possible in the future, Tom Caltagirone, a 31-year lawmaker who voted for them, predicted, “It ain’t gonna happen.”

California, Virginia, and Maryland have monthly gun purchase limits such as the one defeated in Pennsylvania. The limits are primarily aimed at “straw buyers” — those who seek to obtain guns in mass quantities for illegal resale in cities with tough controls or for resale to criminals who cannot clear background checks and make legitimate purchases. Analysts say such restrictions may hurt gun traffickers more than gun-toting criminals, but the laws’ success in doing even that is questioned. South Carolina repeal its law after analysis showed that nearly 30 years after the restrictions were passed, the percentage of guns originating in South Carolina used in New York City crimes was about the same as before. While many states enacted tougher background checks for purchasers in the 1990s to supplement federal rules, few have enacted any new restrictions this decade, said Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “In states where it’s politically possible to do more on regulating guns, they’ve done most of what they can do,” he said. “Generally speaking, the status quo rules.”


Comments are closed.