Legislation to Ban Assault Weapons
I am a co-sponsor of legislation that was proposed this week to ban assault weapons in Pennsylvania.
The legislation would broaden the scope of what Pennsylvania classifies as assault weapons, including banning more than 150 gun models. It would also ban the sale of gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
This legislative proposal would mirror a bill that was enacted in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which is considered to be one of the toughest gun safety measures in the nation.
Under Pennsylvania law, both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are legal. There was a federal ban on these types of weapons nationwide which began in 1994. However, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004.
For the 10 years that the national ban was in effect, it was illegal to manufacture assault weapons for use by private citizens. The law also set a limit on high-capacity magazines, restricting them to no more than 10 bullets. Any weapon or magazine that was manufactured before the law went into effect in 1994 was legal to own or resell.
In the case of the recent tragedy in Lakeland, Florida, the 19 year-old-suspect used an AR-15 semi-automatic style weapon. This highly deadly military-inspired rifle was the same type of weapon used during shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and in Santa Monica and San Bernardino, California.
Military-grade weapons have no place in civilian life. An assault weapons ban is long overdue.
Assistance for Veterans Available NEXT WEEK
I have begun a partnership with the Pennsylvania American Legion to assist veterans at my Brookhaven office, located at 4110 Edgmont Avenue. A representative from this organization will be at my office on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I would like to encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment for these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting the office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service will be offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Hearing Scheduled on Redistricting Reform
This week, Senator Mike Folmer, Chair of the Senate State Government Committee, announced that a public hearing will be held on March 27th in Harrisburg on redistricting reform legislation, including Senate Bill 22, Senate Bill 243, Senate Bill 464 and Senate Bill 767.
All four bills relate to how electoral districts are drawn. I am a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 22, which allows for the creation of an 11-member citizen commission to create our congressional and state House and Senate Districts in Pennsylvania.
I expect further details in the weeks ahead, including an agenda and list of individuals who will be testifying at the hearing.
I also expect that you may be able to view the public hearing via live-feed from the Committee’s website at http://stategovernment.pasenategop.com/.
Emergency Prescription Refill Bill Signed Into Law
Senate Bill 542, legislation that I supported, addressing prescription refills in emergency situations, was signed into law by the Governor as Act 8 of 2018.
Specifically, this new law would eliminate a life threatening loophole in the state’s emergency prescription refill law.
Under current law, in the event of an emergency situation where a patient cannot obtain a doctor’s script for the refill of a prescription, a pharmacist could issue a 72-hour supply of that drug. Issues with the law arose, with drugs that are not available in 72-hour supplies, such as insulin, and therefore could not be dispensed to the patient. This situation has resulted in fatalities in other states.
With the Governor’s signature, pharmacists are now permitted to dispense up to a 30-day emergency supply as long as certain conditions are met, such as the drug is not available in a 72-hour supply, is not a controlled substance and is essential to maintain life.
The Act takes effect immediately, and I am hopeful this may potentially save many lives.
Report Potholes Promptly
Freezing temperatures followed by a spring-teasing thaw produce potholes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Prompt reporting to 1-800-FIX-ROAD to repair potholes provides PennDOT the opportunity to contain the degree of damage to the roadway and vehicles. Make note of the county, town, street/state route number, and descriptions of any nearby landmarks to assist in locating and repairing the pothole.
Contact the Customer Care Center to report problems with state-owned roads, construction projects, signs, signals, speed limits, or damage to personal property.
Always Here to Help
My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.
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