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.