- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2019

Several Democratic lawmakers in the Philadelphia area have called for action on gun control after an intense police standoff Wednesday that left six cops wounded.

While answering questions during the shooting, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney took the time to call for gun control.

“Our officers need help. They need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands” he said. “The two little boys that were, the officer had his head grazed, just a little bit more and those two little boys would grow up without their dad.”

“This government — on both the federal and state level — don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets,” he continued.

The suspect, identified as Maurice Hill, reportedly began firing at officers after being served a narcotics warrant. Six officers were wounded by gunshots as the standoff went into the night, lasting nearly eight hours until Mr. Hill eventually surrendered after the standoff lasted nearly eight hours.

While no one was killed, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday he agreed with Mr. Kinney’s statement, saying officers are expressing “frustration” Mr. Hill was able to obtain the high powered weapons he did despite having an extensive criminal history.

“Jim Kenney said it exactly right. We make it too easy for people to get the kinds of guns that shoot at the officers who are trying to maintain the peace,” he said on CNN Thursday, adding officers are “facing a jerk like this guy who had a rifle. Has a list of offenses as long as your arm. How did he get those guns? How did he get that gun that was firing on police officers and injured on six of them.”

“It gets back to the point … that we need to make sure we do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of jerks like this who are going to hurt the very people trying to protect our communities,” he said. “Let’s take guns out of the hands of people like this.”

Mr. Wolf postponed the signing of a state executive order Thursday out of respect for the victims in the shooting.

The order would have expanded background checks, allow authorities to temporarily remove people’s guns if they pose a risk to themselves or others and require safe storage requirements.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan — who represents the Philadelphia suburb Villanova, Pennsylvania — also appeared on CNN Thursday, calling the stand-off a “tragedy” and highlighted bills expanding gun reform the House has already passed.

“Six police officers wounded. Seven hours worth of ammunition that this gentleman had. 70 kids in a nearby daycare. This is a tragedy. We are beyond the inflection point of having to do something about this,” she said.

She called on the Senate to end congressional recess early to vote on legislation to solve this crisis.

The Philadelphia standoff fanned the flames of a recent push for gun control following two mass shootings in early August which left over 30 people dead.

President Trump, who has been a vocal supporter of gun legislation since the shootings said the Philadelphia shooter “should never have been allowed to be on the streets.”

“He had a long and very dangerous criminal record. Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence —must get much tougher on street crime!” he said.

Mr. Trump said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “wants to do background checks,” along with “a lot of Republicans.”

While Mr. McConnell has not publicly supported background checks, he said that and red flag laws will be “front and center” in September when lawmakers come back from congressional recess. 

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