Tragedies such as the recent Las Vegas shooting spark lawmakers into gun safety conversations.
Governor Terry McAuliffe of Las Vegas called for more gun control late last week. On the east coast, similar calls as U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey told late-night host Seth Meyers that America “must unite on gun safety.”
The Las Vegas review-journal put the word, “again” next to “Congress debates gun control.” The article referenced intense legislation push following the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting, and the 2013 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy which failed.
Locally, State Rep. John Galloway co-sponsored House Bill 1400 which calls for universal background checks. The Bill was first introduced several years ago but now has bipartisan support.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 19 states out of the 52 states require background checks for the purchase of a gun. The organization graded states with the Law Center’s attorneys in 2016. The grades take into consideration the numerous legislative approaches in controlling gun violence.
The ranking shows strong coalition with low grades and a higher number of gun-related deaths. Nevada received a ‘C-‘ in 2016 ranking at number 18, while Pennsylvania received a ‘C’ at spot 13.
Galloway wrote, “our goal is to ensure all individuals attempting to obtain a firearm are legally authorized to do so.”
The PASAFE Caucus will introduce an updated form on the legislation with suggested changes which include a definition of “offensive weapons.”
Pennsylvania law currently requires a background check on short-barreled firearms only. Rep. Galloway specifically noted his respect for the Second Amendment for all but would like to “further promote sensible gun safety.”
The language as the United States Constitution reads in the Second Amendment includes the words “regulated,” “security,” and “shall not be infringed.” The intended scope of that Amendment has been an ongoing debate for decades.