Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lentz Works to Close Florida Loophole

from the inbox:

The Philadelphia Daily News today joined a growing chorus of newspaper editors and law enforcement officials across the state in voicing strong support for the effort by Representative Bryan Lentz, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the state’s 7th Congressional District, to close the loophole in the law that allows people suspected of committing violent crimes to legally carry concealed weapons.

“This is a no-brainer: fix it,” the editors at the Daily News wrote, referencing Lentz’s proposal to keep residents from using permits granted by other states to legally carry concealed weapons in the Commonwealth if they would otherwise be determined unfit for a permit by local law enforcement officials. Considering Florida alone, there are at least 3,100 cases in which the decision to grant a permit for Pennsylvania residents was made by the Florida Department of Agriculture, not local Pennsylvania law enforcement officials.

Today’s strong voice of support from the Daily News comes on the heels of similar calls from editors around the state since Lentz first introduced his legislation, H.B 2536, at the end of May. Support for the legislation in the editorial pages of newspapers has included nods from papers in Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Delaware County.

“These are sensible ideas to improve public safety without jeopardizing gun ownership rights. They should become law,” wrote the Scranton Times-Tribune on June 5, referencing Lentz’s bill, and on June 14, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette implored local legislators to support Lentz’s measure, writing, “We hope the Western Pennsylvanians on [the committee considering the legislation] will not be deterred from standing up for this measure in the name of sensible, responsible gun ownership.”

The Delaware County Daily Times also called out opponents of the bill earlier this month for their efforts to paint supporters of Lentz’s legislation as ‘extreme’. “Some of the supporters of Lentz’s bill would probably be surprised to learn that they are either ‘extreme’ or ‘part of the liberal left’,” the Daily Times editorial page wrote. “They are, in fact, law-enforcement officers who almost daily have to deal with the consequences of gun violence.”

Lentz’s legislation has also won the backing of police chiefs across the state. Earlier this month 10 police officers around the state, including Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner, and Nathan Harper, Pittsburgh’s Chief of Police, sent in a signed letter of support to the House Judiciary Committee, which is considering the legislation.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Delco Daily Times

Philadelphia Daily News

Scranton Times-Tribune

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