Delco pol pro­poses ID re­quire­ment for buy­ing ammo

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Alex Rose arose@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @arosedelco on Twitter

State Rep. Brian Kirk­land, D-159 of Chester, an­nounced this week that he would pro­pose a new law re­quir­ing proof of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to buy am­mu­ni­tion in the state.

Cur­rent law only re­quires sell­ers to “rea­son­ably be­lieve” peo­ple buy­ing am­mu­ni­tion are of age, ac­cord­ing to Kirk­land, but he wants to make it manda­tory for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to be pre­sented on ev­ery sale.

“Pro­tect­ing our com­mu­ni­ties from the hor­rific im­pact of gun vi­o­lence is ex­tremely im­por­tant to me,” Kirk­land stated in a re­lease. “From Sandy Hook to Stone­man Dou­glas High School, we too of­ten grieve the loss of pre­cious life taken by those who should not have ac­cess to firearms and am­mu­ni­tion.”

Only those aged 21 and older may buy hand­guns and hand­gun am­mu­ni­tion un­der fed­eral law, and only those 18 or older may pur­chase “long guns” such as ri­fles or shot­guns, as well as ac­com­pa­ny­ing am­mu­ni­tion.

There are ex­cep­tions to pos­sess­ing weapons for those un­der 18, such as law­ful hunt­ing and trap­ping ac­tiv­i­ties, and those be­tween the ages of 18 and 21 can also pos­sess a hand­gun that has been gifted to them by a rel­a­tive.

Kirk­land, a fresh­man in­cum­bent who faces Repub­li­can Ruth Mo­ton in the Novem­ber gen­eral elec­tion, noted that a photo ID is re­quired to pur­chase things like al­co­hol, lot­tery tick­ets and even al­lergy medicine. He said his leg­is­la­tion would serve as a rea­son­able re­form to save lives with­out in­fring­ing on law-abid­ing ci­ti­zens’ rights to own and use guns

“Sadly, young peo­ple, es­pe­cially African Amer­i­cans, His­pan­ics and Na­tive Amer­i­cans, face sig­nif­i­cantly higher-than-av­er­age risks of be­ing a vic­tim of gun-re­lated homi­cide,” Kirk­land said. “We can – and we must – do ev­ery­thing in our power to cur­tail this epi­demic, and this leg­is­la­tion is just one step of many nec­es­sary to take on this is­sue.”

The state House and Se­nate saw a flurry of ac­tiv­ity on gun con­trol ear­lier this year, with bi­par­ti­san bills put for­ward by both par­ties, though lit­tle ac­tual move­ment.

While the Se­nate ap­proved a pack­age of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and gun vi­o­lence-re­lated bills in March – in­clud­ing two of­fered by lo­cal state Sens. Tom Kil­lion, R-9 of Mid­dle­town, and Tom McGar­rigle, R-26 of Spring­field – only one al­low­ing judges to use a “pre­trial risk as­sess­ment tool” when set­ting bail in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cases was passed by the House and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.

Stephen Miskin, a spokesman for House Repub­li­can lead­er­ship, did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

“It’s kind of mind-bog­gling why they’re not mov­ing them in the House,” said McGar­rigle. He is the prime spon­sor on Se­nate Bill 502, which would ex­tend any ex­ist­ing pro­tec­tion from abuse or­der by 90 days af­ter the de­fen­dant has been re­leased from in­car­cer­a­tion.

“It’s not the Sec­ond (Amend­ment) – it’s got noth­ing to do with tak­ing guns away from any­body at all, it’s about pro­tect­ing the vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence,” said McGar­rigle. “I’m kind of puz­zled why they wouldn’t move that.”

McGar­rigle said he has spo­ken with Kil­lion, whose own bill, SB 501, would re­quire in­di­vid­u­als sub­ject to a pro­tec­tion from abuse or­der to sur­ren­der all firearms in their pos­ses­sion to a law en­force­ment agency, fed­er­ally li­censed firearms dealer or their lawyer within 48 hours. Both bills passed unan­i­mously in the Se­nate in March and were re­ferred to the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, where they have re­mained.

If the House fails to act on those bills be­fore the end of the 2017-18 ses­sion, McGar­rigle said he and Kil­lion have agreed to rein­tro­duce them next year. While Kil­lion is not up for re-elec­tion this year, McGar­rigle is fac­ing a chal­lenge from Democratic Swarth­more Mayor Tim Kear­ney in Novem­ber.

“There’s not a lot of pres­sure I can do (on the House),” said McGar­rigle. “The only thing I can do is talk to all the House mem­bers I know. It’s more of a lead­er­ship thing.”

Kil­lion said Fri­day that there does at least ap­pear to be in­ter­est in mov­ing a bill sim­i­lar to his own of­fered by state Rep. Mar­guerite Quinn, R-143 of Doylestown. If Quinn’s bill comes to the Se­nate, Kil­lion said his would be dead, but he ex­pects the new ver­sion could eas­ily be passed on a con­cur­rence vote and sent on to the gover­nor.

“I don’t care whose (bill) it is, I just want to see it made into law,” said Kil­lion.

While there has been some push­back from a firearm own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion on Quinn’s ver­sion of the bill, Kil­lion said he be­lieves there is still enough sup­port to get it passed be­fore the end of the ses­sion in Novem­ber.

“When we get back into ses­sion (Sept. 24) we do plan on hav­ing a meet­ing about it to see what we can do to push it along,” said McGar­rigle. “But the clock’s tick­ing out on us here.”

Brian Kirk­land

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