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Sausage Making – Castle Doctrine Edition

For those of you who aren’t paying attention, we’re fighting to pass Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania. And, to be honest, I don’t blame you if you’re not paying attention. However, you can tell those of us who are by the imprints on our foreheads where we’ve beaten our heads against the wall a few too many times.

Castle Doctrine isn’t too popular with Philadelphia Democrats. In theory, that shouldn’t matter. Though the Democrats control the House, it’s by a narrow margin and definitely due to the number of rural, moderate Democrats. The Speaker is one of those types, so he should move anything he wants out to the floor. Alas, that is not how it works.

We managed to move the bill out of one House committee, but only in exchange for some votes on anti-gun bills. The good news is that ours passed, and none of the bad bills survived. But, somehow, the Castle Doctrine bill then went on to the Appropriations Committee that is chaired by an extremely unfriendly Philadelphia Democrat who wouldn’t let it out. (Resume head banging against the wall at this point, please.) So, we got the sponsor to push a discharge petition. Yay! Except…

NRA and other groups have been alerting gun owners that the discharge petition would happen any day now. And it never happened. Then, it was on the schedule for tonight, and we were getting great updates from Rep. Seth Grove on Twitter as the vote progressed. So, we tuned in to PCN (our state C-SPAN of sorts), and found out the effort is being abandoned. Head banging may resume…

According to the statement by the sponsor of Castle Doctrine, the Democrats have agreed to release the bill tomorrow morning out of the Appropriations Committee. (Rep. Dwight Evans – the anti – had a very smug look on his face as he agreed, so I’m wondering what he got out of that deal.) According to the Majority Whip, there will be a full House vote on Monday.

In addition to working through the House, NRA has been sending out alerts to try and drum up support for a Senate amendment to House bill that will accomplish the same goal.

So, if you live in Pennsylvania, call your state rep and state senators. You know the game by now. And, if you’re really up for a little sausage making exercise, tune into PCN on Monday to see if the House Democrats hold true to their word.

UPDATE: According to Rep. Grove’s Facebook updates, the final votes will actually happen on Tuesday and Wednesday.

3 Responses to “Sausage Making – Castle Doctrine Edition”

  1. Sebastian,
    Within the last hour or so, HB40 was voted out of Appropriations: 22 Yea, 7 Nay.

    See here for the voting record:
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/rcc/public/listVoteSummaryH.cfm?sYear=2009&sInd=0&cteeCde=4&theDate=09/29/2010&rNbr=2360

  2. EDIT: Vote was actually 26-8.

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