HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania was a swing state in the November election and could be a key battleground when it comes to gun control, debate participants say.
Pennsylvania has a large rural population with a strong tradition of firearms ownership. Through the years, the state has resisted efforts of gun-control advocates to put more restrictions in place. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday. However, the momentum may have shifted with the elementary school massacre in Connecticut, the report said.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who has a history of taking the National Rifle Association's point of view on guns, told the newspaper last week he is now ready to support bills to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell told the Inquirer he believes Pennsylvanians will go for "reasonable" gun laws, and, noting he won elections while supporting gun control measures, asked, "So, how tough is the NRA?"
But there are Pennsylvania gun owners such as Michael Gottlieb, a 55-year-old lawyer from East Norriton, who don't think it's right for gun-control advocates to use the Newtown shooting as leverage.
"There are politicians who see this as an opportunity," Gottlieb said Friday. "For them to capitalize on a tragedy like this to push their agenda is completely wrong."
Another gun enthusiast, Ron Jones, said during a break at the Lower Providence Rod & Gun Club in Montgomery County that he agrees with Gottlieb's sentiments.
"What happened last week was the most unspeakable tragedy," said Jones, 54, an electronics technician from East Norriton. "But blaming the equipment won't help."
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
KAMPALA, Uganda, May 21 (UPI) --Ugandan police closed down the offices of the Daily Monitor after it ran a series of articles about the president making his son successor, journalists said.
LOS ANGELES, May 21 (UPI) --John Barrowman is to serve as host and Darrell Hammond and Debbie Gibson as judges on the U.S. competition series "Sing Your Face Off," EW.com said.
WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) --A member of Congress who led an investigation into the BP oil spill in 2010 expressed outrage that a judge threw out a charge against a former BP executive.