HARRISBURG – Following the governor’s 2020-21 budget address, Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued this statement:
“I was disappointed Gov. Wolf used this forum to once again advocate for abridging the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, while he and fellow Democrats continue to oppose efforts to hold criminals in possession of illegal guns accountable under the law. For the governor to expend more of time and energy supporting criminals than he does law-abiding citizens is shameful.
“The problem is not law-abiding citizens. It is criminals with illegal guns and those in the position to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law not doing so. A perfect example of this is what we are seeing in Philadelphia. The district attorney there is continuing to fail to enforce our criminal laws to their fullest extent, and the resulting effect is that the number of gun-related crimes is rising. He has an almost complete disregard for his duty as a prosecutor and for overall public safety.
“In fact, the failure of the governor and Philadelphia’s district attorney to stem the criminal violence in that city highlights the naïveté in calls for increased spending as a solution to whatever he sees as a problem. Last year, the General Assembly allocated an additional $2 million to a gun violence task force, yet even with that increase of more than a third in previous spending for that task force, gun crimes continue to rise in Philadelphia.
“The House proposed a bipartisan package of bills designed to strengthen penalties pertaining to gun-related crime, force law enforcement officials to do their duty, and get those who are most troubled into mental health treatment - yet we did not get support from the House Democrats or from the governor. Instead, they continued to talk about taking guns away from citizens trying to protect their families from a criminal element Philadelphia’s district attorney wants to put back on the street.
“As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I will continue to support the rights of those who follow the law and work to strengthen the penalties for those who seek to harm their fellow citizens.”
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman