November 30, 2022

Learn where Pennsylvania political candidates stand on gun control

A series of mass shootings across the country, including a Uvalde, Texas tragedy that claimed the lives of 19 children, has many in the community wondering what, if anything, officials will do in the face of the recent spike in gun violence. Pittsburgh has its own history of mass shootings, including the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, which killed 11 people in 2018, and a recent shooting of mass in an apartment rented by Airbnb on the North Side, killing two teenagers and injuring eight others.

With general elections approaching in November and several public positions up for grabs, Pittsburgh City Paper breaks down where the candidates stand, as many make gun control a key issue in their campaigns. This story will continue to be updated.


Governor of Pennsylvania:

Josh Shapiro (D): Current Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has a strong record of supporting gun control. In a recent effort with 18 other attorneys general, Shapiro helped defend California restrictions on the sale of long guns and centerfire semi-automatic rifles.

“I refuse to accept a reality where our children have to fear for their lives every time they walk into class,” Shapiro said. NBC Philadelphia. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves to feel safe at home, at school and in their community – and I know we can achieve that while respecting the rights and traditions of Pennsylvanians. As Governor, I will work every day to protect our children and make our communities safe from gun violence.

Doug Mastriano (right): Doug Mastriano’s history with gun control has been negative. In the past he has compared US gun control laws to Nazi Germany. In 2021, he introduced legislation this would prevent local governments from creating their own gun restriction laws. For 2022, Mastriano has been rated 92% by the NRA.

“This legislation is needed more than ever. We have a president who has already shown his enthusiasm for using his executive order pen and a Congress that has made gun restriction laws a top priority. Pennsylvania was the first state to incorporate the right to bear arms into its constitution,” Mastriano said in a Press release. “By the time the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed in December 1791, the PA had already twice reaffirmed the right to bear arms as a basic individual liberty. Our legislation will preserve this right and curb federal attempts to infringe on this right.

US Senate:

John Fetterman (D): John Fetterman says he remains a strong advocate for common sense gun control. Fetterman says the NRA has a strong hold on Congress, which hampers its ability to pass gun control legislation. The NRA gave Fetterman a rating of 0%.

“That’s not a sweeping statement: we should all agree that we want to make sure guns stay out of reach of people who might use them to hurt others, especially after the tragedies we’ve seen in Charleston, Newtown, Wilkinsburg and too many other communities,” Fetterman said in 2016 while campaigning for the U.S. Senate.

Fetterman published a campaign video for his 2022 Senate campaign and still expresses a strong need for gun control.

However, Fetterman faced controversy on an incident this happened in 2013, where he chased down a black jogger, Chris Miyares, and detained him with a shotgun. Fetterman claims he did not point the gun, but Miyares reported that he did. Despite disagreeing with Fetterman over what happened, Miyares said The Philadelphia Investigator that he hopes Fetterman wins his race for the U.S. Senate.

Mehmet Oz (D): Mehmet Oz has claimed to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, despite conservative media are calling his history of supporting the Red Flag laws, which are tough gun control legislation.

In a recent campaign announcementOz claims he will fight for constitutional rights if elected to the Senate.

“[O]Our Second Amendment isn’t just about hunting, it’s about our constitutional right to protect ourselves from trespassers or an overly intrusive government,” Oz said.


US House District 12:

Summer Lee (D): Lee advocated for gun control and common sense gun laws, and also spoke about the need for campaign finance reform to fight lobbies like the National Rifle Association. Summer Lee has been rated 0% by the NRA for the year 2022.

“We need to fight for campaign finance reform so we can stand up to the gun lobby, but we also need to talk about investment. Gun violence and poverty go hand in hand, not race,” Lee said during a 12th Congressional District Democratic Debate.

Michael Doyle (R): Mike Doyle, who shares the same name as Democrat Mike Doyle who currently holds the seat and is retiring at the end of his current term, has said little about gun control. Despite his lack of a history with gun problems, the NRA rated him at 92%.

Pennsylvania State House District 19:

Aerion Abney (D): Aerion Abney is running unopposed in the race for Pa. State House District 19 and based on past statements, he has favored the need for gun control.

Abney told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette“At the end of the day, overall, we just need to get these guns off the streets and out of the hands of children. I’m really ready to take a long-term approach to work and fix some of the problems in some of our communities. .

Pennsylvania State House District 24:

La’Tasha D. Mayes (D): La’Tasha Mayes has a long history of working to reduce gun violence in her community. Mayes has often advocated for common sense gun laws, such as universal background checks on all guns, banning assault weapons, gun owner licensing, etc. .

Mayes often takes to Twitter to voice the need for gun control in American communities, especially after shootings like Uvalde.

“White supremacist violence killed 10 black people in Buffalo. We are used to black people dying by guns,” she said. said on Twitter. “White supremacist violence has killed at least 19 children in Ulvalde, Texas – a 79% Latinx town. We are insensitive to the children killed in school.