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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gun-control group has gubernatorial race in its sights

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Gun-control advocates CeaseFirePa have issued a voters guide for the upcoming election.  The takeaway: All four Democrats are broadly in support of CeaseFire's reforms -- which include a "lost and stolen" gun ordinance, tougher penalties for those with illegal guns, and more funding for a gun-violence task force. CeaseFire called that "an unprecedented level of support ... in a Pennsylvania governor’s race."

Joe Hoeffel, Montgomery County commissioner and champion of all things progressive, got full marks from the organization. (You can see a side-by-side comparison on page 6 of the guide, complete with grades.) Philadelphia state Senator Anthony Williams placed just behind, with Allegheny County exec Dan Onorato in third and state Auditor General Jack Wagner trailing the Democratic field.

Notably, Wagner opposed allowing local municipalities to impose their own gun-control requirements -- something that has been at issue here in Pittsburgh. "As President of Pittsburgh City Council in the 1990s, I passed a city ordinance banning assault weapons," Wagner's response to the survey asserts. "However it was later overturned by state law." And Wagner now agrees with that decision, it seems: "[G]un laws -- like most other types of laws -- should be uniform throughout the commonwealth."

The voters guide also suggests that Onorato has been tacking to the left on gun control -- much like he's been doing on abortion. It calls his overall strong performance "a long way from his position when he entered the race, when Onorato told reporters he opposed gun violence prevention legislation as 'feel good' reforms" [link added by me].

As for the Republicans? State Attorney General Tom Corbett didn't answer the CeaseFire survey. His challenger, Tea Party fave Sam Rohrer, did respond, but got an F (whoops, I mean ...) a "D." 

Republican frontrunner Tom Corbett didn't reply to the questionnaire while Corbett's challenger, Tea Party favorite Sam Rohrer, opposes the entire gun-control agenda.

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