Pennsylvania Senate Democrats put out a press release about an event hosted by a state senator on “gun safety.” I immediately wondered whether this version of “gun safety” was about gun control or actually using firearms safely. It’s tough to say:
State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) joined with several law enforcement officials today to hold a gun safety event at her district office. The event was intended to promote safe handling and storing of personal firearms.
â€œProper storage and handling of firearms, especially in homes with small children, is crucial,â€ Schwank said. â€œIt is my hope that through this event and the information we provide here today, more gun owners can keep their families safe through proper gun storage.â€
At the event, Sen. Schwank and Berks County District Attorney John Adams discussed the importance of properly securing guns with a gun lock.
There’s nothing in there that indicates a call for more gun control. But, we also know that the last Democratic candidate for governor kept using vague talking points on “gun locks” that actually translated into mandatory locked storage that has already been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court – so some of her colleagues do have a history of taking some rather extreme liberties with the topic of gun locks as a matter of policy. Hopefully, she meant this event as strictly education and outreach rather than endorsing any kind of further restrictions on how we use firearms.
Unfortunately, there’s no grade on an NRA questionnaire by which to guide any assumptions about policies that may have been discussed. Her district, while certainly home to many local anti-gun politicians, was previously held by an NRA A-rated lawmaker who won their endorsement. The other potential signal for us would be the previous Castle Doctrine vote in the Senate, but that was on March 8 and she wasn’t elected until March 15 and did not actually take office until April 5. The only vote on the bill since she’s been in office has only been in a committee.
UPDATE: From a reader who attended the event: “I was at this event, and spoke with the Senator afterwards. For disclosure let me state that I volunteered with Medagliaâ€™s campaign against her.
She supports HB40, and we should see her vote on that this week. She also thinks that current law is ‘sufficient’ when it comes to storage of firearms. So at this time at least she is not publicly calling for mandatory ‘safe storage’ laws.” Huge kudos for his efforts, and I’m glad that we know she appears to be ready to vote with us! To all of you who doubted in the comments based off nothing other than the press release or things you haven’t confirmed on your own, please let this be a reminder that getting involved is absolutely key to making a real difference on the issue.