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Recent Deadly Shootings Reigniting Gun Control Debate

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Matt-Rivers-web-headshot Matt Rivers
Matt Rivers joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News team ...
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By Matt Rivers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A week ago, it was a shooting at Seattle Pacific University. Over the weekend, it was a shooting of two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian.  And Tuesday, a student was killed at a high school in Oregon.  As shootings continue, the debate on gun control goes on.

“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts,” said President Barack Obama, speaking to a small group on Tuesday.

In Pennsylvania though, there’s not much debate, at least at the legislative level. It’s one of a few of states that have not passed any gun reform measures since the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school.

A state committee produced a 300 page report in January, laying out 44 reccomendations to reduce gun violence. Not one measure has been passed.

“This is not an easy issue, we have to educate people about it,” said State Senator Stewart Greenleaf, who represents portions of Bucks and Montgomery counties and helped create the report.

He thinks some reforms surrounding mental health and illegal guns will eventually pass.

“We’re going to speed it up as much as possible because this is not the last incident that is going to occur,” said Greenleaf.

New Jersey has passed more than a dozen reform bills and over 100 have passed nationwide.  Dave Sager of pro-gun group Pennsylvanians for Self-Protection says more legislation isn’t the answer.

“I would say that Pennsylvania law is pretty effective, or as effective as it can be in preventing crime,” said Sager.

Philadelphia state senator Anthony Williams, who worked on the report, doesn’t agree with that, but knows any reform likely won’t come until after November’s elections.

“It depends on who’s running the government.  And it comes down to who the governor is and what the administration wants to say,” said Williams.

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