Northeast Times

Rep. Taylor calls for mandatory ‘illegal carry’ penalty—two years

The le­gis­la­tion would in­crease the crime from a mis­de­mean­or to a felony.

In 2012 there were 334 hom­icides re­cor­ded in Phil­adelphia, 85 per­cent com­mit­ted of them by hand­gun, said Phil­adelphia Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams at a re­cent press con­fer­ence an­noun­cing new gun law le­gis­la­tion.

And worst of all, Wil­li­ams said, is the fact that none of the shoot­ers was leg­ally car­ry­ing their gun.

“Not one of these hom­icides was com­mit­ted by a per­son that law­fully pos­sessed the fire­arm,” Wil­li­ams said.

Now, state rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) and state Sen. Larry Farnese (D-1st dist.) have writ­ten bills in their re­spect­ive cham­bers of state gov­ern­ment that calls for a stiffer pen­alty for il­leg­ally car­ry­ing a fire­arm.

Their pro­posed le­gis­la­tion would in­crease the crime of il­leg­ally car­ry­ing a gun from a first-de­gree mis­de­mean­or to a third-de­gree felony, with a re­com­men­ded sen­tence of three and a half to sev­en years, and a min­im­um sen­tence of two years.

“I think the po­lice on the street know who the guys are. So now we’re giv­ing them an ex­tra in­cent­ive to make that ar­rest,” Rep. Taylor said. “Ob­vi­ously we have a prob­lem with the num­ber of murders by hand­gun. In most cases, they’re not used by the ori­gin­al own­er.”

Rep. Taylor said he per­son­ally is a gun-own­er and is not op­posed to the right to bear arms. But he does sup­port more com­pre­hens­ive back­ground checks for gun-buy­ers and clos­ing loop­holes that lead to crim­in­als ob­tain­ing guns.

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

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