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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Election 2018

Graphic by Kaitlyn Patterson 20.
Graphic by Kaitlyn Patterson ’20.

Congressional candidates’ opinions on PA gun laws


After three faculty members and 14 students were shot and killed by an armed shooter in Parkland, Fl. on Feb. 14, the young students have been tweeting at President Trump and organizing marches to encourage action be taken to prevent further mass shootings.

The survivors at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School are using their voices and social media presence to call for further changes in legislature, amidst the usual call for “thoughts and prayers.”

Many of the congressional candidates seeking election in the 2018 Midterm Election have voiced their concerns and a desire to contribute to the cessation of violent mass shootings.

Lindy Li, a Democratic candidate running for election to the U.S. House to represent the 1st Congressional District of Pennsylvania, is campaigning because she also believes in a need for action.

“Gun violence is the reason why I’m running for Congress,” Li said in response to The Hawk’s questions. “Sandy Hook happened on my birthday and that was the final straw for me. I decided on Dec. 14, 2012 to dedicate my life to ensuring that this sort of tragedy never occurs again. Our current elected officials have blood on their hands.”

Nina Ahmad, a Democratic candidate running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 1st Congressional District of Pennsylvania, has also shared her views on gun control.

“The epidemic of gun violence must be stopped,” Ahmad said in response to The Hawk’s questions. “We need to take many steps, including restoring the ban on assault weapons and making it more difficult to buy a gun through comprehensive background checks on every purchase. Finally, we need to stop the NRA and their allies from buying seats in Congress – how many people have to die before we act?”

The Overbook Presbyterian Church displays shirts on their lawn every year to represent victims of gun violence in Philadelphia. This year, 265 shirts were displayed with each victim’s name, age and date of birth written on them to send a message to people about the impact of gun violence in Philadelphia.

Currently, there is no license required to own a firearm in Pennsylvania, according to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. Residents of Pennsylvania who wish to carry their firearm or conceal it in their vehicle must have a valid license to carry or a Sportsman’s Firearm Permit. The latter only applies if the individual is participating in hunting or a similar, verifiable sport.

It is illegal to purchase a firearm if there is any question of the individual’s mental capacity, a record of any prior convictions or if the individual is under the age of 18. The minimum age requirement to purchase a firearm only applies if there is not a parent or legal guardian present to provide supervision and verify that the child would be in possession of the firearm for lawful activities such as target shooting or sportsmanship.

No Republicans have formally declared their candidacy in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. In the 13th District, Brendan Boyle is the Democratic incumbent and Kris Hart is the Republican primary candidate who, at the time of going to press, The Hawk did not receive a response from.

The deadline to announce candidacy for the 2018 midterm election is March 20, 2018.

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