Kennett Square resolution on guns

Kennett Square Borough Council Monday night unanimously approved a resolution asking the state and federal legislators to take stronger action against gun violence. While the vote was unanimous, some residents disagreed.

According to Wayne Braffman, council member and chairman of the Kennett Area Democrats, he got the resolution from Downingtown. He then shared it with Andrew Anton, a candidate seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to run for the 160th Legislative District seat, who would urge all municipalities in the district to adopt the measure.

The resolution lists eight points council wants the General Assembly and both Houses of Congress to address.

It says known and suspected terrorists, and those convicted of hate crimes shouldn't be allowed to own firearms and that there should be funding to research the effect of gun violence and gun safety technology.

It calls for trigger locks on all firearms in homes where there are children and a ban on "assault-style weapons."

The resolution also calls for magazines that hold fewer rounds of ammunition, restricting ownership by the mentally ill, ensuring background checks are performed for all gun purchases and preserving the Pennsylvania Instant Check System.

Resident Jessica Casson told the council that the resolution exceeds council's authority, that it doesn't speak for all residents and that its points are already a matter of law.

"The resolution sounds uninformed," she said.

John Thomas said he accepts what's in the resolution, but not with the resolution itself.

"The problem is bigger than an antigun resolution…It's a mental health issue," Thomas said.

Thomas cited failures by the FBI, the Broward County Sheriff's Department, the mental health system and the school as some of the reasons for the school shooting in Florida last month. He also pointed fingers at legislation that, he said, did away with many mental health hospitals.

"Now we're back to the point where we're talking about mental health institutions again," he said. "Guns are in the mix, but they're not the most important thing."

Another resident said she doesn't like guns, but she doesn't like the idea of government taking guns away more than she doesn't like guns.

Only one resident, Ron Turner, said he supported the resolution.

During council discussion, Braffman said the resolution is a valid one especially considering a state law from several years ago that prohibits municipalities from passing their own gun registration laws, and that something needs to be done.

"Thoughts and prayers won't protect the kids at Mary D. Lang," he said.

Mayor Matt Fetick said he, too, agrees with all eight points in the resolution. He also called himself a constitutionalist but thinks the 2nd Amendment was written to allow people to own muskets, "not military style weapons that fire 30 rounds per second."

The resolution noted that 114,994 people are shot, and 33,880 died from gun violence in murders, assaults, suicides, suicide attempts and other shootings.

While only one person in the audience said he agreed, there was a smattering of applause when the resolution passed.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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to “Kennett Square resolution on guns”

  1. James Clark says:

    Don’t think that weapon has been made yet. The M-16 can only do 900 rounds per minute, which is 15 rounds per second.

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