Kennett Sq. OK’s gun violence resolution

By Eliza Mohler, Staff Writer, The Times

Kennett Square residents address Borough Council about gun control.

KENNETT SQUARE – In the wake of recent school shootings in the United States, Kennett Square Borough Council is advocating for stricter gun control legislation. At Monday night’s meeting, they voted unanimously to approve a resolution urging lawmakers to enact stronger protections against gun violence.

”Thoughts and prayers won’t bring back the Parkland kids,” said Council member Wayne Braffman, who presented the resolution. “Thoughts and prayers won’t protect the kids over at Mary D. Lang (Elementary School). ”

The resolution calls for trigger locks on all firearms in homes with children present and a ban on “assault-style weapons.” It says “known and suspected terrorists” and those convicted of hate crimes or who have a history of domestic violence should not be allowed to purchase guns.

It also recommends restricting firearm ownership by people with mental illness, ensuring background check performances for all gun purchases, and preserving the Pennsylvania Instant Check System.

The resolution will be sent to 13 local, state, and national elected officials, including Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, and President Donald Trump. It will also be posted on the borough’s website.

However, not all borough residents who attended the meeting agreed with the Council’s action. “The resolution sounds unformed, honestly, and uneducated,” resident Jessica Casson said, adding that the terms used in it are “vague and misleading” and that it is outside the council’s rights and responsibilities.

“I think this resolution is well within the scope of our mandate to protect our citizens,” Braffman said in response to Casson’s comments. “It’s an attempt to try.” He added that the resolution is especially valid given a state law that prohibits municipalities from passing their own gun registration laws.

Mayor Matt Fetick said he would sign the resolution once it was passed, and that he agreed with all eight of its points. “I personally, as the mayor, am responsible for the public safety of the borough,” he said. “I believe that we can have this conversation at a local level, neighbor to neighbor.”

“It’s not the guns’ fault,” resident John Thomas said during public comments prior to the vote. “The problem’s bigger than an anti-gun proclamation. I really don’t want you speaking for me.”

Braffman and Fetick noted that the resolution respects the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which gives people the right to bear arms.

“We’re just trying to prevent our children from not growing up,” Council member Brenda Mercomes said. “We’re asking our legislators to do their job.” Council member Doug Doerfler said he supports the resolution but understands the viewpoint of those who don’t want the council to speak for them.

In other news, the council voted to accept the resignation of former borough solicitor Marc Jonas and agreed to approve William Gallagher from the firm of MacElree Harvey as the interim solicitor. Jonas had resigned in mid-February.

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