Firearms

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The state Senate voted to protect domestic violence victims and strengthen Protection From Abuse orders on Wednesday. But there was opposition from some Western Pennsylvania legislators.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Crowds of students and activists flooded Harrisburg Tuesday, calling for changes to help halt school shootings.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A violent crime committed with a firearm in Pennsylvania holds a mandatory five-year sentence tacked onto any other convictions for the same incident. State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny County) wants to amend this law to make sure those sentences are served one after another.

"What's happening is, the judges are running them concurrently instead of consecutively, and the [additional] five years don't mean anything," DeLuca said.

Rod Waddington / flickr

In the middle of the night, Saybah Harris received a text message.

It was a photo of an ambulance with a simple description: It's Foday.

Her only son.

Miki Yoshihito / Flickr

Advocates for stronger gun laws and domestic violence prevention are pushing for the passage of a bill that would restrict access to firearms for people convicted of domestic abuse. They say the current law has big loopholes.

In any domestic violence case involving a gun in Pennsylvania, law enforcement can demand the abuser turn the firearm over to police or a third party within 60 days. That third party can range from a licensed gun dealer to a friend or family member to safeguard the firearm.

AP

Last weekend, during a protest near Pittsburgh’s Bakery Square, several people online questioned the legality of a man openly carrying a rifle on a public city corner. According to Pennsylvania firearms laws, however, it’s perfectly legal.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill into law that expands the list of firearms permitted for hunting in Pennsylvania to include semi-automatic rifles and handguns.

The new law doesn't make semi-automatic weapons legal for hunting in time for the upcoming firearm deer season, which begins Monday.

Semi-automatic firearms discharge one shot for each pull of the trigger. The next cartridge is automatically pushed into the firing chamber.

The Constitutionality Of The President's Executive Order

Jan 6, 2016
M & R Glasgow / flickr

“Executive orders by presidents are very common,” says our guest Wilson Huhn, distinguished professor of Law at the University of Akron who also teaches constitutional law at Duquesne University. He’ll provide us with a constitutional perspective regarding President Obama’s executive order on gun control. 

Interpreting The President's Gun Control Proposal

Jan 6, 2016
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

Each year, 12,000 Americans are gunned down by their fellow citizens.  In the past twenty years, 600,000 Americans have been lost to gun violence—more than the number lost during combat in World War II.  It is for these reasons that President Obama says he’s taken action to tighten gun laws.

In an emotional live speech Tuesday, President Obama addressed his plans for the future of gun control laws and expanding background checks during the buying process, citing recent mass shootings including the incident in Newtown, CT in 2012.

In 2013, there were 1.1 million firearm-related background checks conducted in Pennsylvania.

Now, state Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R- Washington/Greene) has introduced legislation that would eliminate that background check.

Currently, firearm customers need to register for the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) and the National Instant Check System (NICS) before they can purchase a gun. If Bartolotta’s bill passes, Pennsylvania will join the 36 states that solely rely on the national system.