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Gun Violence

NEWS
November 4, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Under cover of night and in the final moments of the legislative session, lawmakers in Harrisburg robbed Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other communities of a weapon in their fight against gun violence. The legislature approved a bill allowing the National Rifle Association and others to sue cities and towns over gun ordinances - and, even more outrageously, forcing local governments to cover their legal costs. The process was as questionable as the result. The provision was smuggled into an unrelated bill on metal theft, and at one point the Senate voted to bypass a good-government rule requiring it to end voting at 11 p.m. The law will hamper local efforts to deal with illegal guns in a state that does little to help cities beset by violence.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - In the final minutes of the legislative session, the House on Monday approved a bill clearing the way for the National Rifle Association and other groups to sue local municipalities, among them Philadelphia, that enact ordinances stricter than state firearms laws. The bill, approved by a 138-56 vote, will grant legal standing to "membership organizations" to sue over local gun laws, and collect legal fees and other costs if they win. Mayor Nutter said Monday before the vote that he was "profoundly opposed" to the bill, which he said increases the vulnerability of municipalities trying to combat gun violence to lawsuits by pro-gun advocates.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The state Senate closed out its 2013-14 session by passing more than a dozen pieces of legislation, many of them crime-related, including bills covering local gun ordinances, domestic violence, and animal cruelty. Most of the bills approved Thursday are headed for Gov. Corbett's desk, but others must receive final votes in the House, which returns for its last voting day Monday. Among the most controversial pieces of legislation moved by the Senate was a measure to give legal standing to "membership organizations," including the National Rifle Association, to sue municipalities if they enact gun laws stricter than state law. Philadelphia is one of 30 municipalities that have enacted ordinances mandating the reporting of lost and stolen weapons over the last several years since efforts failed to win passage of state gun-control laws.
NEWS
September 18, 2014
USUALLY it takes us at least a week or two after Harrisburg comes back to work after the summer to get exasperated or outraged at our state lawmakers. But this time, it's taken less than 24 hours. Lawmakers returned Monday from summer break; they'll convene for 11 days between now and late October, before another break for the election. (The Senate will convene a total of 10 days.) And, no, that's not even what we're upset about. Nor is it that the cigarette tax needed for the schools still hasn't passed; it is at least moving toward a vote.
NEWS
September 17, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
YOU HAVE TO give Philadelphia police officers credit for attending Fox Chase Community Night Out, part of a national anti-violence event to fight crime. And it's no surprise that the uniformed SWAT cops came armed with a few "toys" to attract residents to their table - a police van, a helmet, a couple of bulletproof vests. But when one of the toys is a semiautomatic rifle, you have to be stunned at the imprudence of putting the gun in the hands of children. Marion Brown certainly was. Besides being a Fox Chase resident, Brown is a co-coordinator of a local chapter of Heeding God's Call, a faith-based movement to prevent gun violence.
NEWS
August 26, 2014 | BY SHIRA GOODMAN & NICHOLAS RAMSEY
ON AUG. 1, just before 10 p.m. on Etting Street near Dickinson, in Grays Ferry, neighbors filled the street enjoying the mild summer evening. Three-year-old Tynirah Borum sat on a porch getting her hair braided. Two young men from the neighborhood arrived on a bicycle, began arguing and with complete disregard for life, fired off several rounds from a handgun. Tragically, they shot four people, one of whom was Tynirah. Shot through the left side of her chest, she died not long after.
NEWS
August 22, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AS A GROUP of law-enforcement and elected officials called yesterday for a mandatory two-year sentence for people convicted of illegally carrying a firearm, kids in the South Philadelphia neighborhood watched and played. It was a beautiful, sunny day. But on Aug. 1, horror enveloped the area after Tynirah Borum, 3, who was getting her hair braided on a porch on Etting Street near Dickinson, was fatally shot. The alleged gunman, Brandon Ruffin, 22, had been released from jail on July 3, after serving 23 months on an 11 1/2-to-23-month sentence after pleading guilty to illegally carrying a weapon.
NEWS
August 7, 2014
James S. Brady often said he tried to forget the hail of bullets that felled him 33 years ago. Fortunately, though, the former press secretary to Ronald Reagan kept other facets of the attempted assassination - especially the availability of guns and the nation's inability to keep them out of the hands of troubled people - in sharp focus. The fight for better gun control became a calling for Brady, who died of complications from his crippling wounds Monday at the age of 73. It was the lifesaving mission of a man who acknowledged that the life he knew before John W. Hinckley Jr. took aim was lost forever.
NEWS
August 7, 2014 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
AS PHILADELPHIA mourns the violent deaths of so many children - including a 3-year-old girl killed Friday by a stray bullet in Grays Ferry - Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church has installed a memorial of 201 T-shirts, each bearing the name and age of a 2013 shooting victim. "There is one shirt for every victim of gun violence within the borders of the city in 2013," the Rev. Keith McClain said. He partnered with Heeding God's Call - a faith-based campaign to end illegal-handgun sales - and erected the activist group's traveling "Memorial to the Lost" on his church's front lawn along Loretto Avenue near Lansing Street, where it will remain through Aug. 16. A prayer vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at which the public is invited to walk through the memorial, reflect on what it means and, if moved to do so, quietly say a prayer for an end to gun violence.
NEWS
August 7, 2014 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
MAYS LANDING, N.J. - The words common sense were mentioned quite a bit during Shaneen Allen's hearing yesterday in Atlantic County Superior Court. Allen, 27, cried for a moment in the hallway with her son Naiare and his father after a judge denied her motion to dismiss weapons charges filed against her in October and refused to overturn a prosecutor's decision to deny her entry into a first-time-offender diversion program. So Allen walked back into court, turned down a plea deal that would have given her a 3 1/2-year sentence and decided to go to trial in October, hoping a jury would use some common sense and not send a working mother of two to prison for not knowing New Jersey's gun laws.
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