It should come as no surprise that anti-gun Majority Democrats in Harrisburg are already back with more gun control in the new year. On Wednesday, January 17, the House Judiciary Committee will vote on another package of gun control bills. Fortunately, the new Majority leadership doesn’t seem to be able to get anything done. They shuttered the House chamber for a couple months to fix a “leaky roof” while they huddle on the side to pursue a leaky agenda. Skeptics may be shaking their heads and wondering if the partial Statehouse closure has more to do with their lack of votes in the House rather than a drippy ceiling. Until a special election is held in February, the House partisan divide is deadlocked at 101-101. They can pass bills in committee where they have stacked the vote, but few of these bad ideas gain traction on the floor. In addition, the partisan bills haven’t generated any interest in the Republican-controlled Senate. There is not a single Republican sponsor on any of these bills.
Last November, the House Judiciary Committee passed HB 941 holding gun owners liable for having their property stolen and misused. The Committee also passed HB 1629, which forces gun owners to keep all firearms in their home under lock and key, tipping the scales toward home invaders in self-defense situations. Both bills passed on a straight-party line vote of 12 to 9. They have yet to be posted for a vote on the House floor.
This current package of bills includes:
HB 336 is a semi-auto ban. This bill would ban the future sale of some of the most popular firearms in common use. It would represent the most widespread gun ban in state history.
HB 483 creates a Gun Violence Task Force. The problem with these taxpayer-funded bureaucracies is that membership is stacked to arrive at a predetermined outcome and use state resources to perpetuate their narrative.
HB 777 restricts privately made firearms, doing nothing more than punishing hobbyists. If you are a prohibited person, it is already a crime to possess, and it is a crime to transfer to a person who is prohibited.
HB 1190 bans 3D printed firearms. This bill poorly defines what a 3D printed firearm actually is and includes firearm parts. It also bans software, which means that long established companies and traditional gun manufacturers who use technology to produce firearms may unwittingly be breaking the law.
At the end of the day, this is all about politics and not public safety. There are more than enough federal and state gun laws already on the books. Harrisburg politicians should spend less time finding new ways to harass law-abiding citizens and encourage prosecutors in cities like Philadelphia to pursue actual criminals.
Please continue to follow these NRA-ILA alerts as we work against these bills and provide updates during the 2024 legislative session.