What’s in the New Pennsylvania Senate Bill to Ban Military-Style Rifles

YARDLEY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A group of southeastern Pennsylvania state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would ban high-powered military-style rifles in the state.

State Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-Doylestown, was joined by three other Philadelphia-area Democratic state senators to announce the introduction of new gun legislation.

It would ban the types of firearms used in the 2016 Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, a similar shooting on the Las Vegas Strip in 2017, the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue attack in Pittsburgh , the killing of 10 black people last month in a supermarket in Buffalo, and the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, 10 days later, where 21 people were killed.

“We stand up with one voice and say, ‘Enough. Sufficient.’ No one needs to have a military style assault weapon. They just don’t,” Santarsiero said.

Santarsiero’s bill in the Pennsylvania State Legislature would block the sale of 150 models of firearms that would be classified as assault weapons and ban magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. Anyone who currently owns such a weapon should register it.

It would also block the transfer of these weapons from a current owner to someone else, but allow for a buy-back program so the weapon can be destroyed.

“We need to engage the public on this. There must be such outrage among ordinary people that this is the issue they are voting on,” Santarsiero said of the attempt to push the bill through the Republican-majority Senate.

“I’m sure the gun lobby will find this unacceptable. I do not care. Because each of us as citizens, when we work together and in concert, have more strength and power than they do.

Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Norristown, said there are limits to further constitutional amendments to protect the greater good.

“Why not the Second Amendment?” Because when assault weapons are used in a mass shooting, six times as many people are shot,” she said.

Sen. John Kane, D-Chester, said there were 19 bills aimed at combating gun violence stalled in committee in the state Legislature, all blocked by the Republican majority.

“To my colleagues who have disagreed in the past, it’s not too late,” Kane said. “I promise you all of us here just want a safer world.”

Santarsiero said polls show the public supports safer gun laws. He said it was up to the public to express their opinion on the matter.

“Each of us has to take ownership of this issue,” he said. “Not just those of us who are elected. We have to lead, yes. But each of you must be part of this solution by making your voice heard.

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Norman D. Briggs