Pennsylvania Senate votes with Sen. Larry Farnese to pass legislation stiffening penalties for straw gun purchases
If HB 898 was already law, the gun that killed Plymouth Township Police Officer Fox may have never found its way into the hands of a convicted felon
HARRISBURG--In what State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila.) called a victory for public safety, the Pennsylvania Senate in a 49 to 0 vote sent legislation (HB 898) that stiffens penalties for straw gun purchases one step closer to Governor Corbett's desk.
"Advocates from across Pennsylvania have been fighting for years to strengthen our penalties for illegal straw gun purchases and today we sent a bill to the House," said Farnese. "This is good legislation and I pledge to continue to do all I can to make our streets and communities free from gun violence and illegal guns."
HB 898 mandates a five-year minimum sentence for any person convicted of making more than one illegal firearm transfer or sale. Last year, Sen. Farnese introduced SB 1028, a measure similar to HB 898, which was universally supported by the public safety and law enforcement communities.
As of today, anyone convicted of a straw purchase can be sentenced from zero to seven years in prison no matter the number of firearms purchased. And, because straw purchasers always have clean records, they typically receive a lenient sentence, no matter the number of illegal guns they purchase.
Over a period of four months in 2012, Michael Henry illegally bought nine guns for Andrew Thomas, a convicted felon who under Pennsylvania law is not allowed to purchase or possess a firearm. This type of transaction, when a purchaser without a criminal record purchases a gun for someone convicted of a felony, is called a straw purchase.
On September 13, Thomas used one of his illegal guns to shoot and kill Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox. Thomas then committed suicide at the scene and Henry was arrested and charged with nine felonies for illegally buying firearms for another person.
+ Top Story
For over 20 years, Temple’s Department of Campus Safety Services hosts a holiday/party for children and their families in the North Philadelphia community. The party is organized by members of the department and aided by volunteers from Temple’s student organizations and community relations professionals.
The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University is pleased to announce a new academic partnership with the prestigious University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. This collaboration will facilitate new study abroad opportunities for U.S. students in one of South Africa’s most culturally diverse regions.
From Hollywood’s hottest nightclubs to the boardrooms behind the scenes, the trendiest restaurants to the bedrooms of the biggest stars—it’s all here in a steamy murder mystery from the celebrity journalist who knows the entertainment world better than anyone.
Politicians are a lot like sharks…if they smell blood in the water, they run toward it. So if you’re an incumbent governor with approval ratings in the cellar, a whole lot of sharks come to call. While the sharks may not come from your own school of fish, they’re coming… and they’re coming in bunches.
Holidays are all about creating traditions and keeping them alive. Families and friends come together for experiences that become lifetime memories. The performing arts “live” experience does exactly that—transporting audiences to stage settings of dancing sugar plum fairies....
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps program is accepting applications throughout the autumn and winter months. The program provides free education and training for eligible young people, ages 16 to 24, to help them start a career, earn a high school diploma or equivalent credential and find and keep a good job.
It wasn’t a “big” story. In fact, the article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last June received little follow-up and even less attention. That’s unfortunate – because it’s a story that explains the anxiety so many Americans express about both Obama’s Affordable Care Act and even “reasonable” gun controls.