Pa. Senate panel to hold hearing on gun penalty bill in Montco

Posted: August 17, 2012

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a public hearing this morning in Montgomeryville on a House bill that would increase penalties for illegal possession of a firearm.

The hearing is being hosted by State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Montgomery/Bucks) longtime chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Its purpose is to elicit comment from area citizens and law enforcement officials on the legislation.

Scheduled speakers include the bill's sponsor State Rep. Todd Stephens, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, and Mark H. Bergstrom, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission of Sentencing.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 1001 Stump Rd., Montgomeryville.

Stephens (R., Montgomery) introduced House Bill 2331 in April and it was amended by committee on May 8.

Under existing law covering firearms, a convicted felon is prohibited from owning a firearm, but there is no requirement that a second conviction carry a jail term.

The proposed law would impose a five-year mandatory minimum sentence without parole, work release or any other conditional release before the minimum is served.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8232 or

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