Proposed Changes to Gun Laws
Thursday, November 17, 6:10 p.m.
By Norm Jones
A state lawmaker from Lycoming County wants to change gun laws to give people more options if they are confronted by an attacker.
Steven Cappelli is a Republican from Williamsport. He has proposed House Bill 2231 in the state legislature in Harrisburg. The bill proposes to loosen state gun laws, especially concerning the use of deadly force.
"We believe people who obey the law, whether they're in their home, business, or car have a right to defend themselves," said Rep. Cappelli. "They shouldn't have to run or try and hide and escape that potential injury before protecting themselves."
Currently, Pennsylvanians under threat of serious injury must try to retreat before they're allowed to use deadly force to protect themselves. Cappelli thinks that's not right, so he created H.B. 2231.
He said, "This law makes it clear that any law-abiding citizen, who has the right and who is legally licensed to own a weapon, to stand their ground and protect themselves, or others who are with them from that threat. It also provides them with much needed civil immunity from litigation that may occur after their use of force, was used in self protection."
Some people fear that the proposed law will make gun owners more apt to shoot first and ask questions later.
"I think that it's a bad idea," said Elliott Weiss of Williamsport. "I think it would do more bad than good. If Williamsport's an example, look at the violence we've had. It would further increase it, more shootings, more killings, more harm." (Wrong you idiot, if the bad guys know we can shoot them on the spot, they just might make them think twice. I hate stupid people.)
But others, including Ruth Hill of Williamsport, see benefits.
"I think it's a good thing. If somebody's going to try to hurt me, my nephew, my kids, I'm going to fight to the death," she said.
Cappelli believes he will be able to get his bill through the state legislature in Harrisburg, but he's not sure Governor Rendell will sign it.