Please see the following message from Commissioner Diane Marseglia regarding Gun Violence in Bucks County:
To : All Media
Regarding: Stopping Gun Violence in Bucks County
The recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida has once again focused our attention on the issue of mass shootings. Wednesday‘s planned 17-minute school walk-out will serve to remind us of this and so many other similar tragedies.
We all know there is a great deal of tumult surrounding the issue of gun control and regulation. In fact, the entire nation struggles with the greater issues of availability of military assault weapons, mental health diagnosis and restricting access to weapons, and robust national background checks. In the meantime local elected officials must do all we can, within the law, to ensure access to guns is a secure process.
In fact, one of the primary roles of Pennsylvania County Commissioners is to provide citizens with a safe, healthy, and protected county. Taxpayers have every right to expect that their dollars are utilized first, and foremost, to protect their personal and familial security. Bucks County Commissioners have, within our purview, the ability to provide this safety without extending restrictions to weapons. Unfortunately, my colleagues, law enforcement and the public may be astonished to discover that our collective safety, from those who should be denied gun permits, is at-risk due to dangerous limitations in staffing.
The Sheriff Department is state mandated to provide a background check on all residents who apply for a gun permit. The permit application asks residents to provide a personal reference for verification of their qualifications to obtain a conceal carry-permit. The application also provides home address and municipality information that enables the Sheriff Department to verify addresses and communicate with the applicant’s neighbors and local police department to ascertain nuances that could restrict approval of a carry-permit. There are a further series of questions where the veracity of an applicant’s answers must be researched.
During the first 72 days of 2018 the Bucks County Sheriff Office arrested and charged 15 people with the so-called “Lie and Try” behavior just from cursory examination of applications and search on existing systems. Given the addition of 6 Full-time staff the office would be able to fully investigate all applicants. Clearly just based on the lie and try of 2018 there are applicants who should be turned down for permits within the current law.
It is critical that we immediately provide the Sheriff with extended funding, beyond the approved 2018 budget, to adequately operate this aspect of his department and our obligation to resident safety.
1. Create a new division, with in the Sheriff Department of exempt staff to fully explore these applications. This would require an additional 6 full-time staff
2. Create a new division, within the Sheriff office of exempt per-diem staff to vet these applications. This would require an additional 12 per diem staff
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Renee Kellis, wife of our former Chairman, Gene Kellis. A family committed to furthering Democratic values, Renee and Gene spent their free time trying to help others; something we all should strive to do more of. Please keep the Kellis family in your thoughts in this difficult time.
Below is the link to Renee's obituary where details can be found on the memorial services.
The Council Rock, Quakertown, Neshaminy, New Hope-Solebury, and Central Bucks supers have confirmed that their respective districts will support all students who wish to participate in the walkout on March 14th, at 10am. This walkout will last for 17 minutes. Please spread the news!
We are urging them to make official statements about their support. Many parents and students received messages and calls from Dr. Fraser of CRSD and Dr. Kopicki of CBSD (also true of Dr. Yanni in New Hope-Solebury SD), assuring us that these districts will not interfere with this peaceful demonstration, and there will be no repercussions for participation.
Some districts have gone farther to support and actively participate in the Walkout.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s congressional map “clearly, plainly and palpably” violates the state constitution and blocked its use from the May 2018 primaries.
In a split decision, the seven-member panel sided with a group of voters who contended the state’s 18 U.S. House of Representatives districts were drawn as an unconstitutional gerrymander that discriminates against Democrats. The justices ordered the Republican-led legislature draw up a new map immediately, a move almost certainly to upend the political and campaign structure just months before the primary election. ... See MoreSee Less