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PA To Take Up Bipartisan Gun Penalty Legislation
#1
crosshair 
A bill to amend PUFA sentencing guidelines is being proposed. I haven't found it yet on PA's legislative site but as soon as I do I will link the legislation.

I would try to keep conjecture down as much as possible until the text of the actual bill is known.

Phila Police are holding a dog and pony press conference right now about it.

Also: Talked to a crim. lawyer just now... the way sentencing guidelines work out for Philadelphia County is that 2+ yr sentences mean nearly automatic transfer out of Philadelphia County to upstate facilities. Given the large number of people who would be facing a lot stiffer sentencing and wouldn't be able to sit at CFCF (Curran-Fromhold Currectional Facility, also called "The Holmesburg Hilton" by some locals), this could actually cause a big change on what happens on the streets of Philly---more room is freed up in the jails to lock more people up.

Philadelphia continually gets bitchslapped by the Federal courts for overcrowding conditions in its prisons. This could keep the prison industry up in the rural counties busy with work while at the same time it frees up space in Philly prisons.


Too soon to celebrate.

------

http://mobile.philly.com/news/?wss=/phil...All=y#more

Tougher gun penalties proposed for Phila.
04/04/2013 3:50 PM
By Allison Steele
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

District Attorney Seth Williams wants to send a new message to Philadelphia residents who walk around with illegal guns:

"You carry, you do two."

Williams, flanked Thursday by a group of politicians and district attorneys from surrounding counties who attended a news conference at Philadelphia Police Headquarters, announced a proposed new law that would slap an added two-year prison sentence on anyone caught in the city with an illegal firearm.

"This is not about gun control," said Williams, who added that the proposal should be seen as "uncontroversial."

The legislation is being brought to the state House and Senate with bipartisan support.

State Sen. Larry Farnese (D., Phila.), who cosponsored the bill, said the city is in the throes of "an epidemic of gun violence," and that law enforcement agencies have been asking that stronger gun laws be enacted.

"No more B.S," Farnese said. "No more screwing around. . .This has to happen."

Farnese and cosponsor Rep. John Taylor (R., Phila.) said they would work to get the bill to the governor's desk as soon as possible.

Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the department arrests more than 1,000 people with illegal guns each year. Many of those go on to shoot and kill people, he said.

"We're thankful for this," he said of the proposal.
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#2
Here's the language of the bill as introduced by Rep. Taylor (my state rep):
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legi...91&pn=1317

Here's the tracking page for the House bill:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/bill...=B&bn=1091
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#3
I am wary of any legislation coming out of Philly. I will say this though, the last two shootings here in Hazleton would have been prevented had the offenders not been let out of jail early, had they been convicted after previous arrests, or had they been picked up on active warrants. In both cases, the shooters did time (one for shooting a random vehicle on Broad St) and were let out early, had then been picked up for other crimes but released, and one had an active warrant but hadn't been picked up. Funny how the Police were able to "track him down" within 24 hours of the shooting.


.......and they say we have a gun problem
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#4
Unless I'm missing something, I support the proposal. The problem all along with gun crime is that too often, the charges are plead down, dismissed or otherwise ineffectively enforced. If criminals are actually held to account and are prosecuted and sentenced under existing laws, crime in Philly and elsewhere will go down and the gun-grabbers will have diminished grounds to push for more gun laws.
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Gman106, proud to be the original "throbbing member" of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
csmith;93481 Wrote:I am wary of any legislation coming out of Philly. I will say this though, the last two shootings here in Hazleton would have been prevented had the offenders not been let out of jail early, had they been convicted after previous arrests, or had they been picked up on active warrants. In both cases, the shooters did time (one for shooting a random vehicle on Broad St) and were let out early, had then been picked up for other crimes but released, and one had an active warrant but hadn't been picked up. Funny how the Police were able to "track him down" within 24 hours of the shooting.


.......and they say we have a gun problem

State Rep. Taylor (originator of bill in House) is Republican.

However this bill only applies to Philadelphia. I'm wondering if Berks County and others will lobby to have that stricken out to have it apply to the whole Commonwealth?

Would people support that if all the counties had that sentencing guideline? Philly would prefer that it gets this minimum guideline and the rest of PA doesn't so it can start pushing a lot more criminals to upstate prisons that it cannot right now due to sentencing scales.
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#6
I would support it so long as there were no surprises hidden in the text (which I see you posted but I haven't read yet). Philly is not the only place that suffers from this problem, and pushing their criminals upstate is what pollutes the rural areas with big city crime. One thing that stands true no matter where you are, when you have a prison and you have inmates, you have communities of inmate families surrounding the area.
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#7
ArcticSplash;93484 Wrote:
csmith;93481 Wrote:I am wary of any legislation coming out of Philly. I will say this though, the last two shootings here in Hazleton would have been prevented had the offenders not been let out of jail early, had they been convicted after previous arrests, or had they been picked up on active warrants. In both cases, the shooters did time (one for shooting a random vehicle on Broad St) and were let out early, had then been picked up for other crimes but released, and one had an active warrant but hadn't been picked up. Funny how the Police were able to "track him down" within 24 hours of the shooting.


.......and they say we have a gun problem

State Rep. Taylor (originator of bill in House) is Republican.

However this bill only applies to Philadelphia. I'm wondering if Berks County and others will lobby to have that stricken out to have it apply to the whole Commonwealth?

Would people support that if all the counties had that sentencing guideline? Philly would prefer that it gets this minimum guideline and the rest of PA doesn't so it can start pushing a lot more criminals to upstate prisons that it cannot right now due to sentencing scales.

So if someone decided they want to carry their legally purchased and owned firearm without getting a LTCF and they're caught they automatically get sentenced to two years? If that's the case, then I don't support this one bit.
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#8
topsykretts;93493 Wrote:
ArcticSplash;93484 Wrote:State Rep. Taylor (originator of bill in House) is Republican.

However this bill only applies to Philadelphia. I'm wondering if Berks County and others will lobby to have that stricken out to have it apply to the whole Commonwealth?

Would people support that if all the counties had that sentencing guideline? Philly would prefer that it gets this minimum guideline and the rest of PA doesn't so it can start pushing a lot more criminals to upstate prisons that it cannot right now due to sentencing scales.

So if someone decided they want to carry their legally purchased and owned firearm without getting a LTCF and they're caught they automatically get sentenced to two years? If that's the case, then I don't support this one bit.


That is not what the text of the legislation says. Therefore, I look forward to your support.

Section 1. Section 6108 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 6108. Carrying firearms on public streets or public property
in Philadelphia.
(a) General rule.--No person shall carry a firearm[, rifle
or shotgun] at any time upon the public streets or upon any
public property in a city of the first class unless:
(1) [such] the person is licensed to carry a firearm; or
(2) [such] the person is exempt from licensing under
section 6106(b) of this title (relating to firearms not to be
carried without a license).
(b) Mandatory sentence.--
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the
person in possession of a firearm at the time of arrest for a
violation of this section is not the lawful owner of the
firearm, then the offense shall be graded as a felony of the
third degree and, upon conviction, the person shall be
sentenced to a minimum sentence of at least two years of
total confinement.
(2) A person sentenced under this subsection shall not
be eligible for parole, probation, work release or furlough.
(3) This subsection shall not apply to any person who is
otherwise eligible to possess a firearm under this chapter
and who is operating a motor vehicle which is registered in
the person's name or the name of a spouse or parent and which
contains a firearm for which a valid license has been issued
pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) to the spouse
or parent owning the firearm.
© Proof at sentencing.--Provisions of subsection (b) shall
not be an element of the crime and notice thereof to the
defendant shall not be required prior to conviction, but
reasonable notice of the Commonwealth's intention to proceed
under subsection (b) shall be provided after conviction and
before sentencing. The applicability of subsection (b) shall be
determined at sentencing. The court shall consider any evidence
presented at trial and shall afford the Commonwealth and the
defendant an opportunity to present any necessary additional
evidence and shall determine, by a preponderance of the
evidence, if subsection (b) is applicable.
(d) Authority of court in sentencing.--There shall be no
authority in any court to impose on an offender to which
subsection (b) is applicable any lesser sentence than provided
for in subsection (b) or to place the offender on probation or
to suspend sentence. Nothing in this section shall prevent the
sentencing court from imposing a sentence greater than that
provided in subsection (b). Sentencing guidelines promulgated by
the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing shall not supersede
the mandatory sentence provided in subsection (b).
(e) Appeal by Commonwealth.--If a sentencing court refuses
to apply subsection (b) where applicable, the Commonwealth shall
have the right to appellate review of the action of the
sentencing court. The appellate court shall vacate the sentence
and remand the case to the sentencing court for imposition of a
sentence in accordance with subsection (b) if it finds that the
sentence was imposed in violation of this section.
(f) Definition.--For the purposes of this section, the term
"firearm" shall include any weapon which is designed to or may
readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an
explosive or the frame or receiver of the weapon.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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#9
So Philly wants to pass yet another law that they'll either Withdraw at trial or Nolle Prosse? Is this law really necessary? How about actually stop plea bargaining every single firearms related crime in the city and actually "stick to their guns" and prosecute people properly?

Nope, instead the DA is more interested in the number of "wins" they have in the courtroom and not actually prosecuting criminals with the maximum charges available to them.
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#10
streaker69;93496 Wrote:So Philly wants to pass yet another law that they'll either Withdraw at trial or Nolle Prosse? Is this law really necessary? How about actually stop plea bargaining every single firearms related crime in the city and actually "stick to their guns" and prosecute people properly?

Nope, instead the DA is more interested in the number of "wins" they have in the courtroom and not actually prosecuting criminals with the maximum charges available to them.

If this were law, this shifts the blame for light sentencing/get-out-of-jail-easy accusations squarely against the DA's office because now it takes judges out of the equation. Judges dont broker deals, the DA does. Judges do give out shitty sentences for VUFA, which this bill blocks.

And unlike judges---almost all PA voters blindly vote their judges w/o knowing a thing about them, DA elections are a bit more contentious (very contentious here).


You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't diss Philly and go "it's all these shits killing each other nobody enforces the law", when the police are picking these people up... the PPD are so good at picking people up they have time to harass LEGAL firearms owners illegally. It's the DA/CJC that's where the revolving door is. So now if you handcuff the judges where they have no choice but to hand out the 2 with no costume jewelry, then it's the DA's discretion totally.


That's a game-changeer. It's going to make it a LOT easier to cremate light DAs.
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