|Posted:||May 5, 2021 01:08 PM|
|From:||Representative Todd Stephens|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Studying the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of firearms offenses in the City of Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania|
|Sadly, each day, those of us in the Philadelphia media market bear witness to the bloodshed that has overcome the city of brotherly love. According to federal law enforcement officials, “In 2020, 499 people were murdered—a 40% increase from the 356 homicides that occurred in 2019. And in 2021, we are on pace to surpass 600 murders, a horrifying milestone.”
According to The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, as of April 28, 2021:
Recently, federal law enforcement officials announced they would be taking a greater role in investigating and prosecuting firearms offenses in Philadelphia.
While these news accounts are concerning it’s important that the General Assembly have a complete and thorough analysis conducted by those with expertise in criminal justice policy and analysis before reaching any conclusions.
The families that live in, work in, or visit, the City of Philadelphia shouldn’t have to live in constant fear of gun violence. That’s why I am introducing legislation requesting the PA Commission on Sentencing, a data-driven, evidence-based, bipartisan, legislative agency, study criminal cases involving firearms. The Commission will rely on arrests, guilty pleas, convictions, sentences and other data to study the manner in which firearms cases have been investigated, prosecuted and adjudicated in the City of Philadelphia and other counties to help inform the General Assembly of any reforms necessary to better protect the people of this Commonwealth.
Introduced as HR111