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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 11, 2019 10:51 AM
From: Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Mandatory Minimum for Carrying Illegal Firearm in Philadelphia
Soon, I plan to introduce legislation that would increase the grading for illegally carrying a firearm in Philadelphia under Title 18, Section 6108 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The bill would increase the grading to a third-degree felony and adds a mandatory minimum sentence of at least two years. Current law constitutes this offense as a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Unfortunately, existing law and enforcement for firearm violations have proven too lax. Staggering statistic show the reality of gun violence in Philadelphia. As of July 9th, there have been 639 shootings in the City, meaning there have been only 20 days out of 185 in 2019 without someone being shot. Sadly, these numbers are likely to increase.

Recently Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross shared that his department has seen the number of illegally carried firearms spike, from prior years. So far this year, 820 people have been arrested for illegal possession of a firearm. Those arrests mark the largest increase since 2015, when 464 people were arrested for illegal firearm possession through the same date.

The blatant disregard for illegally carrying a firearm in Philadelphia must be addressed for the safety of its residents and families. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation.

Introduced as SB830