York County Republican Seth Grove proposes gun control legislation

David Weissman
York Dispatch

While Pennsylvania's Democratic governor has called for the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass comprehensive gun-control reforms, a York County Republican has introduced a bill that will close what he believes is a major loophole in current laws.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, recently introduced House Bill 2275 to update state laws that allow some convicted felons to carry firearms with impunity.

In a memo to House members, Grove and fellow sponsor Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery County, point out that someone convicted of murder, rape or burglary can be prosecuted for carrying a firearm but that state law does not allow that same prosecution for someone convicted of attempted rape, conspiracy to commit murder or solicitation to commit robbery.

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, sits with The York Dispatch editorial board for a discussion about taxes and the state budget. Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

“To be quite blunt; this makes no sense,” Grove said in a news release. “As shocking as this problem is, the legislative fix Rep. Briggs and I came up with is straightforward and simple, and will not affect any rights of any law-abiding individual to possess a firearm.”

Grove's bill would add “attempted,” “conspiracy to commit” and “solicitation to commit” to the same list of crimes that already prohibit a person from possessing a firearm under state law.

More:Wolf pushes to end gun-show exception to background checks

More:Gun rights supporters urged to bring unloaded rifles to rallies

The bill has the backing of fellow York County Reps. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township; Kate Klunk, R-Hanover; and Carol Hill-Evans, D-York City, who all serve as co-sponsors.

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association also offered its support.

“I applaud the bipartisan approach that representatives Grove and Briggs have taken in drafting this commonsense legislation to correct this loophole in our laws,” York County District Attorney Dave Sunday said in the release.

“From a law enforcement and prosecutorial perspective, it is vital that we keep firearms out of the hands of those who have demonstrated a propensity for violence,” he added.

The bill currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee awaiting a vote.