HARRISBURG—Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) has introduced legislation to impose a mandatory minimum sentence on criminals who use illegal guns while committing crimes.
White’s legislation would require courts to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for any defendant convicted of committing an offense while possessing an illegal firearm.
“Under the stay-at-home order from Gov. Tom Wolf some criminals may feel emboldened to perpetrate crimes using illegal firearms as law-abiding citizens stay in their residences,” White said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic our city is already overburdened with increasing crime rates. There has never been a more important time for this legislation. We must send a strong message to criminals that their actions have consequences.”
White believes a 10-year minimum sentence would be strong enough to make criminals reconsider using illegal weapons.
Significantly, this legislation does not adversely impact the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens as it only seeks to penalize the possession of an illegal firearm during the commission of another crime.
“The governor believes spending more money on the Gun Violence Task Force will fix this problem,” White said. “But all the funding in the world will not stop crime from rising if we do not get tough on criminals who have little fear of prosecution.”
Representative Martina White
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster