Philly Standoff Points to Need for New Lost or Stolen Gun Reporting Law, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Says - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Philly Standoff Points to Need for New Lost or Stolen Gun Reporting Law, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Says

'We need to fix our weak gun laws and pass reforms focused on increasing safety and reducing danger to our citizens,' Wolf said last week

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Pennsylvania Governor Introduces Gun Violence Effort

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday issued an executive to help curb the gun violence plaguing Pennsylvania. The executive order comes days after a violent standoff in North Philadelphia where six police officers were shot. (Published Friday, Aug. 16, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Maurice Hill is charged with attempted murder, assault and other offenses for allegedly using an assault-style weapon that injured six cops.

    • Since the Hill shooting and standoff, Wolf has already issued an executive order calling to reduce gun violence throughout the state.

    • Republican State Sen. Lisa Baker, Judiciary Committee chairwoman, has scheduled hearings on behavioral health and gun rights next month.

    Gov. Tom Wolf is urging the passage of a law in Pennsylvania requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms, suggesting it could have prevented last week's wounding of six Philadelphia police officers during a long standoff.

    Wolf made the comments Tuesday during his regular appearance on KDKA-AM radio in Pittsburgh.

    He said Pennsylvania needs a lost or stolen guns reporting requirement so that people like the accused shooter in Philadelphia can't illegally get a hold of a long gun.

    Maurice Hill is charged with attempted murder, assault and other counts. He's accused of shooting at officers who were serving a drug warrant Wednesday and then keeping police at bay while he fired from inside a house.

    Lawmakers React to Shooting That Injured 6 Philadelphia Police Officers

    [PHI] Lawmakers React to Shooting That Injured 6 Philadelphia Police Officers

    Wednesday's shooting that injured six Philadelphia police officers is sparking strong reactions from lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican. NBC10's Lauren Mayk has the details.

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019)

    The violent incident left six officers injured and was followed a day later by a mass shooting that wounded five Philadelphia residents.

    Since those shootings, Wolf has already issued an executive order calling to reduce gun violence throughout the state.

    “Too many Pennsylvanians are dying from gun violence. We need to fix our weak gun laws and pass reforms focused on increasing safety and reducing danger to our citizens,” Wolf said in a statement. “The action I am announcing today includes provisions for Pennsylvanians of all walks of life and looks at gun violence from all angles.”

    Wolf initially planned to announce his reforms last Thursday, but postponed it as a result of the police-involved shootout. Instead, he visited Philadelphia and stood by Mayor Jim Kenney and nearly a dozen other lawmakers all who called for stricter gun laws.

    The executive order names former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey head of a new Special Council on Gun Violence that will meet within the next 60 days to start developing a plan to combat shootings.

    “I am honored to be asked by Governor Wolf to chair the Special Council on Gun Violence and serve as his senior adviser,” Ramsey said.

    Ramsey spent 30 years on Chicago's police force before leading law enforcement departments in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. He retired in early 2016 after serving as Philadelphia's police chief for eight years under former Mayor Michael Nutter. He also served as co-chair of President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

    Wolf's order also creates a Division of Violence Prevention within the state's Department of Health to accomplish the following:

    • Establish new oversight and data sharing across law enforcement agencies and the Department of Health 
    • Expand the state's gun buyback program, partner with the court system and focus more on juvenile diversion program to curb community-based violence  
    • Combat mass shootings through increased surveillance of hate groups, better coordination with first responders and launching ad campaigns on planning and preparedness
    • Decrease both gun-related suicides and domestic violence through mental health campaigns and data collection 

    More than 1,600 Pennsylvanians died from gunshot wounds in 2017, according to the governor's office.

    Sen. Lisa Baker, a Luzerne County Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 24-25 on behavioral health, Second Amendment gun rights and related issues.

    Baker said in a news release last week that all government officials should be looking for ways to end the plague of mass shootings.

    "Taking symbolic steps sends a message, but it ultimately does not save lives," Baker wrote. "Something unworkable or unenforceable or unable to withstand a legal challenge does not provide the real protection our constituents are demanding."

    House Republican spokesman Mike Straub said violent firearms offenses have fallen by nearly 40% in the state in the past 13 years.

    He said the Pennsylvania firearm purchase background checks already exceed what is required by the federal government and argued the Philadelphia police shooting "proves once again that criminals will not follow changes we make to existing firearm laws."