The killing of three Pittsburgh police officers will renew gun control efforts in the Pennsylvania Legislature, but the outlook for enacting laws remains doubtful because the National Rifle Association has “a stranglehold” over lawmakers, a key House member said Tuesday.
“You know how this place is,” said House Judiciary Chairman Thomas Caltagirone, D-Reading. “The Western Pennsylvania Democrats, let alone the Western Pennsylvania Republicans — you can’t budge them” on gun issues, he said.
Despite a Democratic-controlled Congress and an administration that favors reinstating an assault weapons ban, there is little movement to enact tougher gun laws in Washington, said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Helmke blamed the NRA for “fear mongering” that leads people to believe the government is coming for their guns, as friends said Richard Poplawski feared. Police said Poplawski killed two of the officers with a shotgun and used an AK-47 to exchange gunfire with SWAT team members and other officers.
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