America’s Gun Problem Isn’t Pat Toomey’s Fault

Pat Toomey, Joe Manchin

I get that it’s an election year and thus partisan attacks won’t always be fair, but still: It seems pretty silly that Democrats are taking aim at Sen. Pat Toomey, of all people, on the gun issue.

Why? Because a few years ago, after the Sandy Hook massacre, Toomey became the rare Republican to buck the NRA — he joined Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and sponsored a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases. Modest? Sure. Watered-down? Probably. And yet: It was still too much for the Gun Caucus to accept. The bill never came close to passage.

Despite this, Toomey is now being criticized by his campaign rivals for not doing enough to end the scourge of mass shootings. Read more »

Suspect in Custody, No Injuries, After Germantown’s MLK High Locked Down This Morning

Martin Luther King High School. Image via Google street view.

Martin Luther King High School. Image via Google street view.

This morning, for the third day in a row, class at an educational institution in Philadelphia was disrupted by the specter of gun violence.

Today’s scare: Martin Luther King High School on Stenton Avenue in Germantown.

The school was locked down just before 9 a.m. following a report that an unidentified male student may have had a gun in or in the vicinity of the school, according to a statement released by Philadelphia Police.

District officials said there was never any gun found inside the school and the lockdown was out of an abundance of caution, 6 ABC reports. Read more »

Police: Male in Custody in CCP Incident

Community College of Philadelphia freshman Matthew Liu makes a phone call as students and staff gather on Spring Garden Street. Photo | Jared Shelly

Community College of Philadelphia freshman engineering student Matthew Liu makes a phone call home as students and staff gather on Spring Garden Street. “I just hope she’s not in there,” he says about his sister, a senior. “I was on my way in there and got a bunch of messages from the school and 6ABC. That’s what got me worried.” Photo | Jared Shelly

[UPDATE: 11:39 A.M.] According to police radio, a male is in custody. A police wagon was summoned to 17th street. All parents of students are being directed to 15th and Spring Garden.

[ORIGINAL] The Philadelphia Police Department confirms a report of an armed man at Community College of Philadelphia. Shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, police responded to a call regarding the armed man inside the school’s Bonnell Building at 17th and Spring Garden streets.

Read more »

Video: Cayman Naib’s Father Speaks About Dangers of Gun Ownership


“I want to do 14 good things,” says Farid Naib, “one for every year of Cayman’s life.” This is how the father of Cayman Naib — the 13-year-old Shipley student who died by suicide in March — explains his participation in a new Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence video about the dangers of keeping a gun in the house.

Farid’s gun had been purchased 30 years prior to Cayman’s death “for personal protection.” When his children were born he bought a trigger lock for the gun, but didn’t throw the firearm away, which he now regrets. In fact, the trigger lock was still in place when Cayman used the gun to end his life; it did not prevent the gun from firing. Farid says he’d forgotten about the gun, and had no idea that Cayman knew about it.

Read more »

You Don’t Need a License to Own a Gun In Philadelphia

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

You’ve probably heard about the National Rifle Association‘s lawsuit against Philadelphia, which challenged several of the city’s gun laws that are more restrictive than Pennsylvania state law. Well, a judge just struck the NRA lawsuit down, ruling that the organization had no standing to bring it in the first place. But even though the NRA had its panties in a bunch, it turns out that availing yourself of the Second Amendment in the city where it was conceived is probably easier than you think. Here’s what you need to know: Read more »

GOP Will Try Again to Let NRA Sue Pennsylvania Cities

Background |

Background |

If at first you don’t succeed…

A Republican legislator is trying to revive a bill that would allow third-party organizations like to NRA to sue Pennsylvania towns and cities for having overly restrictive gun laws. An earlier version of the law was struck down in March by a Commonwealth Court panel that said the legislature had passed the bill in an unconstitutionally opaque fashion.

“The court’s decision was based merely on technical procedural rules, meaning that the substance of the legislation itself was never called into question,” Rep. Mark Keller, a Republican from South Central Pennsylvania, said in a memorandum to colleagues. Read more »

Court Strikes Down Law That Let NRA Sue Pa. Cities


A Commonwealth Court has struck down the new state law that let the NRA — and other third parties — sue Pennsylvania cities for their gun restrictions.

The law is “unconstitutional and void,” the court said in Thursday morning’s ruling. Read more »

New Jersey Man Tried to Sneak Gun Between Cheeks

Any day that the Philadelphia Daily News has a chance to make a gross joke on its cover is a really, really good day for the Daily News, and for all of us, really. Let us all bow our heads and give thanks for how a great tabloid headline can enrich city life:

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.59.05 AM
So yes, this is the story about how Darquan Lee, 21, attempted to hide a small firearm in his butt — only to be caught by observant jail personnel. Let’s let the Bridgeton (N.J.) Police Department tell their own story, via Facebook: Read more »

Court Weighs Challenge to NRA-Friendly Gun Law



Judges in Pittsburgh on Wednesday heard a challenge to a new state law that lets third-party groups like the NRA sue cities if their gun ordinances are more restrictive than state law.

The law’s challengers, including Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, contend that it was passed improperly: The state constitution requires legislative bills to be about a single subject; the gun bill was passed, though, by inserting its language in a bill originally concerning scrap metal theft. Read more »

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