In a unanimous 200 to 0 state house vote, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed gun purchasing regulations and four prison reform bills:
Under the gun-package bill:
* Gun sellers have to ensure that an application of sale is completely filled out. The application would require buyers to answer whether they are buying the gun for themselves. It would warn buyers that if they are not doing so, and if they are not legally buying the gun as a gift for a relative, they could be arrested and prosecuted on a gun crime.
_ In cases where a gun used in a crime is traced back to an alleged straw purchaser, the time period in which authorities have to charge the gun buyer with a crime would be extended.
The new bill would extend the statute of limitations for prosecution from two years to five years from the date the gun was bought, Kathy McDonnell, chief of the D.A.’s legislation unit, said after the news conference. In special circumstances, it would extend the statute of limitations to up to eight years, she said.
* Anyone simply possessing a firearm with an altered or obliterated serial number would be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
* Anyone who lies on a gun-application would face state penalties, not only federal penalties.
* Anybody who falsely reports a gun stolen would be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, which is an increase in penalty, and would be prohibited from legally buying a gun in the state.
* The Pennsylvania State Police would have to maintain a registry of lost and stolen guns.
The prison-reform bills, designed in part to alleviate overcrowding in county prisons while ensuring public safety, would:
* Require anyone sentenced to two to five years behind bars to be housed in a state prison rather than in a county jail. The state system would also benefit inmates who need mental-health or drug-treatment services, Abraham said.
* In cases where an offender is sentenced to less than two years, judges would have to state at the time of sentencing whether the defendant is eligible for early parole from county prison by participating in a re-entry plan before the minimum sentence date.
This measure would benefit prosecutors and victims by giving them notice that such offenders could be paroled early. *
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In a unanimous 200 to 0 state house vote, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed gun purchasing…
by Tactical-Life.com / Apr 8, 2008