Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is pushing Republican lawmakers in charge of the state legislature to adopt gun control legislation in the name of student safety, while at the same time slashing $50-million earmarked for school security in the 2020 budget.
State Sen. Mario Scavello chastised Wolf on social media after the governor sent a letter to members of the legislature along with a book that “memorializes the lives of the 38 victims of tragic school shootings,” and called for lawmakers to “drive meaningful action to address gun violence for the peace and protection of our loved ones in the commonwealth.”
This afternoon I received this letter from Governor Wolf in regard to school safety. After receiving this letter it is very disappointing to see that he cut $50 million from the school safety line item in his budget proposal. pic.twitter.com/dHUlayHrqG
— Sen. Mario Scavello (@senatorscavello) February 5, 2020
According to WHYY, the Pennsylvania governor does indeed plan on cutting $50-million from a fund dedicated to school safety.
- Money for school safety could be on the chopping block. Wolf wants to budget $15 million for a school-safety grant program that historically gets $60 million a year. Expect Republicans to fight this cut.
In his letter to lawmakers, Gov. Wolf says he has “heard from both parents and teachers are fraught with anxiety at the lockdown drills young children participate in” as well as “students who are fearful that their schools may be the next to experience such tragedy.” Yet the governor wants to slash the school safety grant program by 75%, which means many smaller school districts that rely on that grant money to help protect students are going to be out of luck if Wolf gets his way.
The gun control bills that Wolf is demanding would do nothing to protect students and faculty from those intent on doing them harm. In fact, they’re aimed squarely at legal gun owners, as NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action recently pointed out.
- Extreme gun confiscation measures often referred to as “red flag” laws that authorize the seizure of firearms without due process.
- Criminalizing private transfers of firearms.
- Imposing punishments on victims that have had their firearms stolen.
- Creating firearm storage laws that remove a homeowner’s ability to quickly access their own firearm for self-defense.
These measures won’t help students or teachers be safe at school, but they will infringe on the rights of Pennsylvania gun owners.
It’s absolutely shameless of Gov. Wolf to demand restrictions on the rights of Pennsylvania residents in the name of school safety while gutting the fund that allows school districts to take concrete steps to protect kids in school, but it’s not surprising. Gun control advocates like Wolf have no problems exploiting the deaths of innocents if they believe it will further their agenda, and clearly their agenda has more to do with disarming the law-abiding rather than ensuring the safety of students and teachers across the commonwealth.
With Republicans in control of the state legislature, it remains to be seen how successful Wolf will be in his quest to impose more gun control laws and his demand to strip $45-million from the school safety grant fund. Based on Sen. Scavello’s comments, I expect that GOP lawmakers are gearing up for a fight. Gun owners in the state need to do their part and tell their lawmakers to keep the governor’s greedy hands away from the school safety grants and their right to keep and bear arms.