City and state officials gathered near the scene where a 3-year-old girl was shot to death to push for a tougher gun law for Philadelphia.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said the child should not have died because the man accused in the killing should have been behind bars.
“This legislation will not just help us reduce violence in Philadelphia. It will help us reduce the violence in the entire commonwealth and, more specifically, in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” Williams said Wednesday. “Philadelphia’s criminals do not stop at our county line, they don’t run up to City Line Avenue and fall backward.”
State Rep. John Taylor has sponsored a bill that would impose a mandatory two year prison term at the minimum for anyone caught carrying an illegal firearm in the city of Philadelphia.
The bill is ready for a vote and approval when lawmakers return to Harrisburg in September.
“It’s not about the bill itself, I would challenge anybody no matter what part of the spectrum they are on in terms of the gun issue — whether you are for gun control or ardent defender of the Second Amendment — to find a way to criticize this legislation,” Taylor said. “This works. It does not affect law-abiding citizens. “
State Sen. Larry Farnese, another sponsor of the measure, indicated that special interest groups have no reason to oppose the bill.
“This is not about gun rights. This is not about expanding protections or limitations on gun ownership, on legal gun ownership within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” he said. “This is, quite simply, about illegal possession in Pennsylvania and, specifically, illegal gun possession in Philadelphia.”
The legislation was introduced last year. It’s been supported by city officials, as well as district attorneys in the surrounding counties.
The mandatory minimum legislation must be approved as soon as possible, Williams said, because it will save lives.
The child, Tynirah Borum, was sitting on a porch, having her hair braided, on the night of Aug. 1 in the Grays Ferry section of the city when she was caught in the gunfire.