Pennsylvania House Democrats voted to advance a bill that will further restrict law-abiding citizens’ right to own firearms to protect themselves.
This week, Democrats in the majority control of the Pennsylvania House pushed forward a series of gun control measures, including one that would ban the sale of automatic and semi-automatic guns— years after being in a stalemate within the politically divided state government.
Other legislation that was advanced includes the prohibition of “accelerated trigger activators, which increase the rate of gunfire” and a bill to “subject 3D-printed firearms to the same regulations as standard firearms.”
However, the bills have a slim chance of surviving in the state’s GOP-controlled Senate since Pennsylvania has an evenly split House with 101 Republicans and 101 Democrats.
Democrats in the state have had a difficult time passing their strict gun control measures. Last year, the restriction of firearm legislation did not even make it to the committee floor before falling apart. Republicans have instead used the opportunity to work with the opposing political party to boost funding for anti-violence and mental health programs.
“Until a special election is held in February, the House partisan divide is deadlocked at 101-101. They can pass bills in committee where they have stacked the vote, but few of these bad ideas gain traction on the floor. In addition, the partisan bills haven’t generated any interest in the Republican-controlled Senate. There is not a single Republican sponsor on any of these bills,” the NRA-ILA said in a statement.
Pennsylvania Democrats argue that the drafted set of gun control measures would balance gun ownership while also protecting citizens.
“These are issues that we were clear at the beginning of the session we wanted to tackle,” said the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Tim Briggs (D-PA). “The first thing we did was have a hearing on gun violence prevention measures.”
However, Republicans say the bills would infringe upon American’s Second Amendment rights.
“If the government can infringe on our Second Amendment rights, no rights can be enjoyed by citizens of this nation,” Rep. Joe Hamm (R-PA) said.