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Pa. Lawmakers Introduce Gun Safety Bills, Including Assault Weapons Ban

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(Pennsylvania state representative Ronald Waters, D-Phila.   Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Pennsylvania state representative Ronald Waters, D-Phila. Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Acknowledging that they have an uphill battle, several Democratic members of the Pennsylvania House today introduced a package of gun safety bills, including a measure to ban assault weapons.

State Rep. Dan Frankel, of Allegheny County, said he’s encouraged by conversations he’s had with other lawmakers about their willingness to consider gun measures, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons that mimic fully automatic guns.

But, he says, “I will tell you (an) assault weapons ban is probably a heavy lift here.”

Meanwhile, state representative Ronald Waters of Philadelphia (at lectern in photo) insists that he and his colleagues do not want to end gun ownership.  Waters says he understands that in a rural area a homeowner may not have time to wait for police to arrive to deal with an intruder.

“They don’t need to call 9-1-1,” Waters said today. “They need to get their hands on 3-5-7 (caliber) — we understand that.”

But one of the measures in the package of gun bills would roll back a recently enacted “stand your ground” law expanding the criteria for using deadly force when a person feels threatened.

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