Recently, Congressman Patrick Murphy signed on to sponsor legislation which would outlaw hundreds of commonly owned guns here in the Commonwealth. The ban makes no exceptions, not even for law-abiding owners who use them for competitions, hunting, or defense of the home every day in Pennsylvania.
Similar to the 1994 ban on semi-automatic firearms pushed by then-President Bill Clinton, Murphy’s bill would go much farther. It would ban forever:
- All semi-automatic shotguns. (e.g., Remington, Winchester, Beretta and Benelli, used for hunting, sport shooting and self-defense. H.R. 1022 would ban them because they have “any characteristic that can function as a grip,” and would also ban their main component, called the “receiver.”)
- Any semi-automatic shotgun or rifle an Attorney General one day claims isn`t “sporting,” even though the constitutions of the U.S. and 44 states, and the laws of all 50 states, recognize the right to use guns for defense.
- All detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles-including, for example, the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 .22 rimfire-because they have “any characteristic that can function as a grip.”
- Target shooting rifles. (e.g., the three centerfire rifles most popular for marksmanship competitions: the Colt AR-15, the Springfield M1A and the M1 “Garand.”)
- Every gun made to comply with the Clinton ban. (The Clinton ban dictated the kinds of grips, stocks and attachments new guns could have. Manufacturers modified new guns to the Clinton requirements. H.R. 1022 would ban the modified guns, too.)
- Guns exempted by the Clinton ban. (Ruger Mini-14s and -30s, and Ranch Rifles; .30 cal. carbines; and fixed-magazine, semi-automatic, center-fire rifles that hold more than 10 rounds.)
- 65 named guns (the Clinton law banned 19 by name); semi-auto fixed-magazine pistols of over 10 rounds capacity; and frames, receivers and parts used to repair or refurbish guns.
Boy Scouts would not be able to shoot one of the most common .22 rifles at camp. All of your fellow trap shooters who prefer semi-automatic shotguns could never buy a new one again.
Congressman Murphy defends his effort to ban these common rifles by citing the tragic shooting of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski by criminals who had rap sheets that totaled 26 pages. The criminal responsible for the murder had 13 arrests for unlawfully carrying a firearm that the District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute. In a further 11 arrests for violations of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s firearms laws, the charges were either withdrawn or dismissed. In only three cases was he prosecuted and either plead guilty or was found guilty. On weapons charges alone, he could have done 12 years in prison, in which case he would not have been on the streets. The criminal records of the other two participants in the crime have similar records that would have landed them all behind bars had they been prosecuted or forced to carry out their sentences as career criminals. None of them should have been on the street that tragic day.
Rather than asking local leaders to address the very serious problems that plague the city’s ability to process and punish criminals, Congressman Murphy has decided to target the law abiding gun owners across the country and ban their sporting firearms.
Additional Pennsylvania Representatives joining Congressman Murphy’s gun ban include: Robert Brady (1st District), Chaka Fattah (2nd District), Allyson Schwartz (13th District), and Joe Sestak (7th District).