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PA House Judiciary Committee Stalls Anti-Gun Bills

Four Anti-Gun Bills Re-referred to House Local Government Committee

Today, four anti-gun bills were considered in the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-89):

  • HB 699 (Fitzgerald): A mandatory “safe storage” law that would require all gun owners to lock up their firearms.
  • HB 770 (Gainey): A so-called “assault weapons” ban that would outlaw numerous semi-automatic firearms.
  • HB 1538 (Frankel): A bill that would end the statewide firearms preemption law, allowing cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to pass their own gun control ordinances, turning PA into a patchwork quilt of gun control laws.
  • HB 1903 (Stephens): “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation Order bill that tramples on the due process rights of all gun owners.

Instead of a straight “up or down” vote, Representative John Hershey (R-82) made a motion to re-refer all four bills to the House Local Government Committee. After a spirited debate, the motion passed with both Republicans and Democrats supporting it.

So, what just happened? You can read the explanation below or watch my video on Facebook to learn more:

Click to watch a Facebook video about what happened today

All of these anti-gun bills have Democrat-led discharge petitions on the House floor. That means the Democrats are trying to force a vote to bring these bills out of committee and onto the House floor for a roll-call vote.

The Republicans did not want to vote on the discharge petition, so they were looking for a way to avoid a straight “up or down” vote on those discharge petitions.

Hence, the move to re-refer all four bills to another committee. By re-referring the bills, the discharge petitions are not applicable under the new committee and a floor vote on the discharge petitions was averted. In short, they kicked the can down the road.

However, Republicans may find themselves right back where they started if the Democrats try to discharge the same bills from the Local Government Committee. It will be déjà vu all over again.

Several Democrats also voted for the re-referral, citing the possibility that these bills MIGHT get a better hearing in the Local Government Committee. Needless to say, I am very concerned about that.

This is only a temporary victory and the battle isn’t over. I will keep you informed as to what transpires in the Local Government Committee. Hopefully, we can kill all four bills for good in that committee.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for responding to the previous alert on these bills. Your voice is being heard loud and clear in Harrisburg. Keep up the good work!