Skip to comments.Rendell calls bid to curb guns in Pennsylvania 'a lost cause'
Posted on 11/30/2010 11:42:28 AM PST by neverdem
HARRISBURG - For eight years, Gov. Rendell has lobbied hard in the halls of the Capitol for what he calls "commonsense" handgun laws. He wanted to limit sales to individuals to one handgun a month. He wanted owners to report lost or stolen weapons. He wanted to close a loophole in state law that he believes lets criminals use gun permits obtained in other states.
At each turn, the legislature - including some of his allies in the Democratic-controlled House - knocked down the proposals like so many slow-moving clay birds on a skeet-shooting range.
On Monday, Rendell defended his weekend veto of a bill expanding gun owners' self-defense rights - but declared his efforts to reduce gun violence through legislation "an abject failure."
"It's a lost cause in Pennsylvania," Rendell said in a conference call with reporters. He accused the General Assembly of kowtowing to the National Rifle Association.
"The legislature proved consistently in my eight years that they are scared to death to buck the NRA," he said. "It's incredibly frustrating, the hold the NRA has over the legislature. It's embarrassing."
The lame-duck governor spoke even as his Republican successor, Tom Corbett, was signaling he would sign the bill Rendell had just vetoed.
Rendell's remarks about the NRA drew a swift rejoinder from the office of Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware). "I don't agree with the governor's conclusion," said Pileggi's spokesman, Erik Arneson. He said that NRA members have a right to air their views on legislation, and that lawmakers consider those views just as they do those of other interest groups.
Pileggi, who represents the crime-plagued city of Chester, broke with Republicans - and some Democrats - to support closing the so-called Florida loophole, though the measure failed in a final vote last month.
Unlike some lobbying groups, the NRA wields its power less through campaign donations and more with an energized membership that looks to the group for its endorsements - and non-endorsements - and its annual "report card" on whether legislators voted for gun owners' rights.
Rep. Kate Harper (R., Montgomery) in 2007 offered a rare glimpse into some lawmakers' concerns about the NRA. After voting for a one-handgun-a-month proposal in a House committee, Harper said she feared the gun lobby and its supporters would exact revenge at the polls.
"To the single-issue voters, this is an antigun vote," Harper said at the time. "I am afraid this will come back to bite me next election season." Harper was reelected; the one-gun-a-month proposal never made it out of committee.
Rendell on Saturday used his veto power to turn back efforts by gun-rights proponents to expand the use of deadly force in self-defense.
He said he supported the so-called castle doctrine as it applied to one's home, but opposed the bill's provisions expanding the doctrine to include vehicles, businesses, and "out to the street," where he said it could imperil innocent people.
"We shouldn't have a shoot-first mentality," Rendell said.
He said he might have considered signing the bill if it had closed the Florida loophole. Rendell and some law enforcement officials have argued that Pennsylvania's reciprocity with states such as Florida has allowed individuals denied permits here to use permits obtained more easily elsewhere.
He conceded the bill likely would move swiftly through the legislature when lawmakers returned in January.
Rendell predicted an easier time for gun-rights activists in the next session, when both the House and Senate will be under Republican control and a more sympathetic governor, Corbett, will be in office.
For all intents and purposes, it is too late for the legislature to reconvene and attempt to override Rendell's veto. But supporters of the castle-doctrine bill say they will push anew for its passage next year.
"I have full confidence we'll pass it next year with a bipartisan overwhelming vote, and Gov. Tom Corbett will sign it," said Rep. Seth Grove (R., York). "You are giving power back to the citizens to defend themselves."
Corbett would sign the castle-doctrine bill in its current form, said his spokesman, Kevin Harley - who added that Corbett opposed all the other gun-control measures advocated by Rendell.
Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or email@example.com.
Why don’t you try to curb CRIME?!?!?
Taking guns from law abiding citizens INCREASES CRIME, every time it’s tried!
Bye-bye, Tyrant! Hope you fade into obscurity soon. I’m sure the next administration will do their best to remove the damage you did.
Good-bye Fast Eddie! And be sure to let the door hit ya in your ‘effin ugly ass on the way out!
By the way, is he still torturing Eagles fans by appearing on Comcast's "Post Game Live"?
Rendell: ‘a lost cause’
Fixed the title.
I need to do surgery on your handle:
Red in Red PA.
There, I fixed it!
You are correct about the State Stores. It is beyond time to get rid of this stupid,antiquated idea. PA. has to be the hardest state to buy a 6 pack of beer! No variety and high prices!
Indeed! Feels good to live in a red state again.
Rendell is an IDIOT.
The biggest CRINIMALS in Pennsylvania are the Democrat Politicians that have choked Philadelphia to death..
Also, I don't remember when the change occurred, but the State Stores were renamed Wine and Spirit stores. I used the term "State Store" with my wife and she just gave me a blank look.
For a six pack you have to go to a bar or pizza shop. Since they have the monopoly, they can rape you on the price. The biggest debacle are the wine kiosks Rendull started spreading around. These are the epitome of big brother. If you are not familiar, read this:
Lest we forget, Ed Rendell was the local DA during the airborne bombing of the MOVE house in 1985. He apparently saw nothing wrong with dropping military explosives on a civilian residence, thus killing 5 children and 6 adults, and destroying 65 homes.
He does believe, however, that the State should be allowed to prosecute people who do their best to defend themselves against thugs.
It’s been asked before, but I feel I need to ask again: where do we get such men?
I grew up in South Jersey and have lived in SW Pennsylvania for about 23 years. I was comparing a State Store to a NJ liquor store. Everything in one store with competition from other liquor stores makes for a better variety and better prices.
GOOD RIDDANCE you cackling Hyena! This clown is like dog poo stuck in the tread of your shoe. HOPEFULLY, PA has seen the last of this walking disaster. On second thought, he should go to the city(Philly) that spawned him, become a community organizer, walk the “badlands” at night and stop the out of control distribution of heroin that occurs there. I’ll supply the batteries for his flashlight. He doesn’t believe in guns so he shouldn’t worry about walking that area at night.
I'd much rather be blue after the left's command performance since January 2009.
Bah! Red represents the blood honorably spilt in the attainment of liberty... or at least that’s what I was taught the red in our flag meant.