Gun Penalties for Convicted Felons at Heart of Hearing

Local lawmakers and law enforcement officials, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, testified at a hearing last Thursday in Montgomery Township on House Bill 2331

Lawmakers and law enforcement officials – including Rep. Todd Stephens, R-151, Sen. Stewart Green leaf, R-12, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams – held a public hearing last Thursday at on House Bill 2331, which affects gun laws as they pertain to convicted felons.

According to The Reporter, the bill looks to stop criminals before they commit crimes.

A tenet of the bill – which Stephens said already passed the State House – would establish a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for felons illegally carrying a firearm, and would make possession of a weapon by a felon a crime of violence, according to the article.

Stephens was quoted as such in the article:

The bottom line is, if we want to get serious about tackling gun crime, we’ve got to get serious about our penalties here in Pennsylvania.

The bill would make a second offense by a felon result in a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence and a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence for a third offense, according to the article.

The article states Greenleaf testified that the bill would be discussed in his State Senate Judiciary Committee next month; he plans to recommend it to the full Senate for a vote next month.

The purpose of the hearing was to gather opinions on the bill and find any minor issues to work out, according to the article.

For statements from Ramsey and Williams, among others, read the full article at The Reporter Online at this link.


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