by Alex Lloyd Gross
Sept 15, 2022
Crime has increased dramatically in Philadelphia. Citizens are sick of it. So are lawmakers. In Bensalem Pa, State Representatives Frank Farry and KC Tomlinson held a press conference outside of the Bensalem Municipal Building today, September 15, 2022. It was there that they unveiled a new bill they are working on.
Currently, a person convicted of a crime that prohibits them from carrying a gun will do no mandatory state jail time. “Federal authorities are not coming after simple street crime,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. “With this bill, this will jam you up-“, said Farry. He is referring to this bill which will make it mandatory for someone found in possession of a gun when they are not allowed to have one. This law will send them to jail.
“This is a felony, your first offense is 11 months. Second time is five years and third offense is 15 years,” Farry said. Currently, under section 5105 subsection B, there are 30 offenses that will restrict your ability to have a gun. If signed into law, this will have some teeth.
The lawmakers were there with lawmen from areas that border Philadelphia. Police from Southampton, Bristol Borough showed up to show support for this bill. “We see crime coming up from the city and 62 percent over last year, many of these crimes involve illegal guns. Just last year an individual fired nine rounds into a business and shot at our officers. We were able to take that male into custody. He was a convicted felon that should not have had a gun. he is now doing six to 10 years in prison,” said Bill McVey, Director of Public Safety for Bensalem Twp.
Both Tomlinson and Farry drove home the point at this bill does not affect people licensed to carry a gun, or who have one legally. Some people are against mandatory minimum sentences. “We feel that this sets the tone, 11 months is enough to make you realize you did wrong, five years for the second offense and 15 years sends a message” Farry said.
“When a felon has a gun, very bad things will happen,” Farry said. This pending legislation will not just protect residents of Bucks County, but it will protect citizens state wide. This bill is not yet law. Both Tomlinson and Farry hope that it will become law by the next legislative session.