The Philadelphia Inquirer,
September 30, 2019-
After every mass shooting or multiple shooting, we demand that lawmakers “do something.” Last week, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee advanced a dozen gun related bills to the House floor. If these bills are what “something” looks like, we would rather that our lawmakers do nothing.
The judiciary committee, for example, did not advance any “red flag” bill — legislation intended to allow the court to temporarily disarm people who are at risk to themselves or others — that have a wide range of support from Gov. Tom Wolf, Montgomery County Republican Rep. Todd Stephens as well as advocacy groups such as CeaseFirePA and Moms Demand Action. Instead they advanced a bill that would require people who have been involuntarily committed due to a mental health crisis — who are, according to research, not of high risk to hurt others — to relinquish their firearms more quickly. This bill, and a bill to expand the list of people prohibited from owning or possessing a gun to those convicted of “attempted” felonies — and not only “successful” felonies — advanced out of committee unanimously. The impact of these bills, however, doesn’t come close to the potential impact of the “red flag” bill, which Republicans on the judiciary committee say raises constitutional concerns.