House panel wraps up hearings on school safety, guns


House Judiciary Committee Chair Ron Marsico is a supporter of gun rights, and he set the tone for the last of several hearings on gun legislation.

 “Tragically, it no longer seems shocking to hear about school shootings. And that is a call to action for all of us,” said Marsico.

The committee is exploring potential new gun laws, including banning bump stocks and high capacity magazines, to keeping guns away from people with protection from abuse orders filed against them.

Pro-gun control advocates, like Shira Goodman of CeaseFirePA, say the measures would keep guns away from the hands of people we have already identified as dangerous.

But those on the other side of the issue, Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group argued that many of the bills being discussed overstep the second amendment.

“Instead of seeking to restrict law abiding individuals’ rights, why isn’t the general assembly proposing and considering true common sense proposals?” asked Prince.

Those proposals include ways to keep kids safe in school. 

“Why aren’t we doing things, like allowing teachers and administrative staff and school resource officers to be armed, who wish to do so?” asked Kraut.

But Goodman argues that those options are not popular with the general public.

“Very few people think that arming non-security personnel in schools will make our schools safer,” said Goodman.

In the wake of the latest school shooting in the U.S., Goodman says the time for talking has now passed. 

“You’ve had commissions, you’ve had hearings. It’s time to look at these bills, and take votes, and send them to your colleagues in the House,” said Goodman.

Many of the bills being discussed today are currently sitting in the committee. The hope is many of them will soon be moved to the House floor. 

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