Gun Control Advances in Pennsylvania

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Pennsylvania, despite having not just one but two large urban centers, has a history of being pretty pro-gun. As a state, they haven’t been a huge fan of gun control. At least, not until recently.


Now, it seems anti-gun sentiment is predominant in the state, though it’s largely centered in those two large urban centers, and we all know what that means.

That’s right, it means people are going to try and restrict rights, often without any consideration for the framework of what’s acceptable gun control laid out in Bruen.

But Pennsylvania lawmakers are pushing it anyway and now it’s out of committee.

Pennsylvania House Democrats on Wednesday advanced five measures regulating firearms toward a potential floor vote, including a proposed ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Separate proposals from Rep. Benjamin Sanchez, D-Montgomery, would ban multi-burst trigger activators, including bump stocks and assault weapons, a catchall group of firearms broadly defined within the bill, including a semiautomatic rifle fitted with a folding or telescopic stock, large capacity magazine, flash suppressor or pistol grip protruding beneath the weapon, for example.

The proposed ban on assault weapons would apply only to new sales, and there are exceptions for military and law enforcement. The trigger-related ban, however, is retroactive and “confiscatory.”


Now, I’ve got to be honest, this whole description is a bit of a mess, but basically, anything that’s politically unpopular is going to get banned.

In fact, there were also two additional bills aimed at so-called ghost guns–one seeking to ban the sale of unserialized parts for assembling a gun at home and another classifying 3D printed guns as being the same as more traditionally manufactured guns with regard to how they’re regulated. That just keeps up with the theme of banning that which anti-gunners have said is bad.

One other bill that advanced would really impact the state police versus most gun owners.

A fifth proposal advanced by the committee is from Rep. Greg Scott, D-Montgomery. His bill proposes to narrow the window on the timely reporting of records used by the Pennsylvania State Police in background checks for gun purchases. The bill would drop the time period from seven days to four days. An amendment added a requirement to develop methods for the electronic transfer of such records.

This appears to apply to records of who is ineligible to lawfully purchase firearms and shouldn’t impact your regular lawful gun buyers. At least, not any more than the system may already impact them.


Now, that doesn’t mean it’s not anti-gun, because I can argue it is. This desire to speed up the process is because lawmakers somehow buy into the gun control advocate argument that the lawful sale of guns somehow arms bad people.

That’s not remotely true, but it’s hard to convince others of it, even when you show them the data.

It should be noted that the votes on these pretty much went down party lines, which suggests that we’re going to see that happen in the legislature as a whole. Given that Republicans still hold a majority in the state Senate, these bills should go down to defeat before reaching the desk of Gov. Josh Shapiro. If they somehow do manage to get signed into law, get ready for a wave of lawsuits challenging them, particularly under Bruen’s text, history, and tradition standard.

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