By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A committee of the Pennsylvania House today gave initial approval to several firearms bills, including one that would increase the penalty for illegally carrying a gun on the streets of Philadelphia.

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The House Judiciary Committee advanced the bill, sponsored by Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila.), which will create a minimum two-year prison sentence for someone who carries a gun in Philadelphia that is not licensed or exempt from licensing and who is not the owner of the weapon.

“This mandatory minimum was very successful in New York,” Taylor said today.  “We think it’s a main component of why their murder rate has dropped so drastically.”

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The committee also gave approval to a measure that would clarify that state law preempts local laws governing guns — over the protest of at least one suburban lawmaker who complained that it would give standing to groups such as the NRA to launch preemptive challenges to local ordinances requiring people to report lost or stolen guns.



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