Philly Council renews call for state to give city lawmakers the ability to implement stricter gun laws

Councilmember Curtis Jones, who introduced the measure, said he would settle for even temporary regulations to restrict guns in the city.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis Jones gestures as he speaks.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis Jones. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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Philadelphia City Council has passed another non-binding resolution calling upon the state to give it permission to implement stricter gun laws. The move is the latest effort at getting permission from the state to implement more stringent regulations on guns just for the city to see if they can cut down on the number of shootings and killings in town.

The state has the final say on regulations unless the city is granted an exemption, and legislators have long fought every request for a change to the regulations.

Councilmember Curtis Jones authored the resolution, saying he would not back down on Harrisburg’s continued refusal to give Philadelphia the right to author stronger gun regulations in the wake of the ongoing violence.

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“As a guy who grew up in the neighborhood, at the point that you go into the schoolyard and the bully approaches you, the day you stop fighting back is the day the bully won,” Jones said.

He added even just giving the city temporary authorization to test stricter regulations could be the key to showing everyone the impact that could have in the fight against violence.

“I just think that if we are allowed all those kinds of freedoms and we can do what Connecticut has done,” Jones said. “Connecticut has implemented sensible gun safety laws. They reduced their shootings by 24%. All I’m saying is let’s give that option a chance.”

Among changes Jones would like to see is a restriction on assault-style weapons, which he says is common sense because there is no hunting going on in Philadelphia.

He’s also pushing for a “red flag” ordinance which would give the courts the ability to take guns away from someone who could present a danger to others. That rule is designed to prevent violence before it starts.

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With a new governor in place, and Democratic control of the state House, Jones is hopeful there could be some implementation of meaningful gun laws for the city.

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