Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



_____________________NEWS RELEASE

State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:


PHONE: 717-787-5662 


     HARRISBURG, November 29, 2007 – Intensifying efforts to get illegal guns off the streets, state Senator Vince Fumo has introduced legislation to impose mandatory minimum sentences on anyone convicted of carrying a concealed firearm without a valid license. His bill would require at least a one-year prison term for such offenders.

     Fumo noted that Pennsylvania has a system under which people can obtain a legal permit to carry a concealed firearm. Given the high murder rate in Philadelphia over the past several years, Fumo wants to crack down harder on those who carry a weapon unlawfully.

     “Today’s illegal gun is tomorrow’s murder. People who do not go through proper channels to obtain a valid permit to carry are often those with a criminal background or criminal intent. This will help law enforcement officers by putting some of those people behind bars, before they get a chance to commit a violent act,” Fumo said.

     All state Senators from Philadelphia have signed on as co-sponsors to the Fumo legislation (SB 1171.)

Click here to listen to audio of Sen. Fumo discussing the legislation.

     Under current law, judges can impose a sentence of anywhere from zero to seven years upon someone who commits a third degree felony gun license violation – those carrying a concealed weapon who are not eligible to obtain a license, or who use the gun in commission of another crime.

     Judges can impose a sentence of zero to five years upon those who commit a first degree misdemeanor – those who are eligible to obtain a license and have not committed any other criminal act.

     In both cases, under Fumo’s bill, judges could still impose the higher sentences, but would be required to give the offender at least a one-year term.
Fumo introduced the legislation in response to discussions with some members of the Philadelphia Police Department.

     “There is no single law or single enforcement tactic that, by itself, will solve the problem of gun crimes,” Fumo said. “We must try a variety of strategies, and this is one of them. We must also continue trying to attack the socioeconomic root causes of crime.”

     Fumo has already taken several steps to reduce the numbers of guns in the hands of Philadelphia criminals. Most recently, in 2006, he conceived the idea for a special task force within the state Attorney General’s Office to pursue illegal gun dealers, and obtained $5 million in annual state funding. Working with the Philadelphia District Attorney and the city Police Department, the task force had arrested 97 illegal gun dealers by mid-November.

     Fumo was also the primary author of the 1995 uniform firearms act, which created the state’s instant background check system, subjecting all firearms purchases to a state police check.

     In the current legislative session, Fumo has also signed on as co-sponsor of a number of gun-related bills authored by other state Senators from Philadelphia. They include.

     • Return or Destruction of Firearms (Sen. Vincent Hughes) -- Law enforcement has 120 days to determine rightful owner of a confiscated weapon. If owner cannot be determined in that period, law enforcement must destroy the weapon.

     • Registration of Firearms in Cities of the First Class (Sen. Tina Tartaglione) – This would make registration mandatory. An owner who fails to do so can be charged with a misdemeanor in the first degree.

     • Report of Theft or Loss of Firearm (Tartaglione) – Owners must report missing firearms within first 24 hours. If this is not done, the penalty will be a summary offense with a fine not to exceed $500.

     • Sale or Transfer of Firearms (Sen. Shirley Kitchen) – This amends the penalty section for a straw purchase. The person who originally purchased firearm will be held criminally liable.

     • Corrupt Organizations (Kitchen) – This adds a section relating to a person intentionally selling or transferring a firearm to a person unqualified or ineligible to have one. It is an indictable offense.

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