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Anti-Gun is now the “Right Flank” of the Democratic Party for PA2010

Supporting gun bans, wanting to reargue Heller, and completely dismantling the state gun laws to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court puts you on the pro-gun side of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, at least according to this article on PA2010.com. Really? That would be news to the many pro-gun Democrats in this state who actually support the rights of gun owners.

During the primary battle, we learned that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Dan Onorato, was one of the farthest left candidates you could find on the gun issue. The only guy to his left was Joe Hoeffel. The only Democratic gubernatorial candidate who gun owners could come reasonably close to voting for if they were voting single issue was Jack Wagner.

We captured video from most of the Democratic forums before the primary and studied his statements on “public safety,” and those hit on a range of policy issues on the matter of Second Amendment rights:

Onorato Hoeffel Wagner Williams
Ending Preemption
(overturning Ortiz)
Support Support Oppose Support
Semi-Auto Ban Support Support Support Support
Mandatory Locks on Guns
(overturned in Heller)
Support Support Oppose Oppose
Castle Doctrine Oppose Oppose Maybe Oppose
Shut Down Gun Stores Near
Homes, Schools, or Parks
Maybe Support Maybe Support
Limit on # of Guns Maybe
(through local laws)
Support Oppose Support
Eroding Reciprocity Support Support Maybe Support
Ban Gun Ownership w/out
criminal conviction
Support Support Support Support

On this list of what I consider to be “big” issues right now, Onorato goes against gun owners 75% of the time. The other two issues are unknowns, or he would support other government officials in their quest for more gun control. That’s not what we usually consider “on our side” in the gun owning community. (Hoeffel strikes against us 100% of the time, Williams at 88%, and Wagner at 25% of the time with another 38% of the issues as possibly against us.)

If you want to look at the issue from the gun control handbook from CeaseFirePA, their big issues show a similar breakdown. Onorato is with them 85% of the time, and they classify the remaining 15% of the positions as unknown, not in opposition to their agenda. (Hoeffel is with them 100% of the time, Williams 85%, and Wagner 46%. In fact, Williams is actually against them with the other 15% of the proposals which actually makes him more solid on the issue with gun owners than Dan Onorato.)

For context on how Onorato’s positions compare to legislators who have recently voted on some of the policies Onorato is pushing or opposing, here’s another chart. I’ve broken these charts down by NRA grade. (It was too wide with all of them in one, so forgive the repetition, it’s to prove a point.)

Onorato
Not Rated
Lentz
F
Manderino
F
Vitali
F
Wagner
F
Ending Preemption
HB 1044
Support Support Support Support Support
Semi-Auto Ban
HB 1045
Support Oppose Support Support Support
Castle Doctrine
HB 40
Oppose Support Oppose Oppose Support

This table shows that Onorato is farther to the left on recent gun rights policy debates than two of the four F-rated lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee.

Onorato
Not Rated
Waters
D-
Brennan
D
Caltagirone
D
Shapiro
D
Costa
C
Ending Preemption
HB 1044
Support Support Oppose Support Oppose Oppose
Semi-Auto Ban
HB 1045
Support Support Oppose Support Oppose Oppose
Castle Doctrine
HB 40
Oppose Oppose Support Support Support Support

Let’s look at some who probably fall on the left of the issue, and another who falls squarely in the middle of the issue based on previous grades. Onorato’s policies fall in line with the D- lawmaker, but he’s exactly the opposite of two D legislators and our single C-rated guy on the committee. That doesn’t seem to be very “right flank” to me.

Onorato
Not Rated
Casorio
A
Kula
A
Pallone
A
White
A
Petrarca
A+
Ending Preemption
HB 1044
Support Oppose Oppose Oppose Oppose Oppose
Semi-Auto Ban
HB 1045
Support Oppose Oppose Oppose Oppose Oppose
Castle Doctrine
HB 40
Oppose Support Support Support Support Support

All of these lawmakers are probably the “right flank” of the gun issue for the Democratic Party since they are all A-rated or higher. Most of them carry the NRA’s endorsement. And Dan Onorato doesn’t agree with them on anything – from banning guns to gutting gun laws to even a law dealing with self-defense in your own home.

So, based on statements and specific policy plans, both gun owners and gun controllers agree that Dan Onorato is not on the “right flank” of the Democratic Party on gun issues. So I’m challenging the fine folks at PA2010.com to back up his claim that Onorato is in any way considered to be pro-gun. It would enlightening, especially to all of the Democrats I talked to this weekend who are planning to vote against their party on this specific issue in this race come November.

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