HARRISBURG-- Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) today called on Attorney General Josh Shapiro to prosecute gun crimes in Philadelphia.
“It appalls me that the attorney general has chosen to play politics and yield to the agenda of aggressive activists rather than the people of Philadelphia who are pleading for help in the fight against gun crime,” White said. “Using the power granted in this new law to help address gun violence in no way diminishes other efforts to bring needed reforms to our justice system.”
White was referring to her amendment to House Bill 1614
that passed the House unanimously and was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf to become Act 58. This bipartisan legislative effort provided the attorney general concurrent jurisdiction to work with the Philadelphia district attorney or take action to fight gun crime in cases where District Attorney Larry Krasner refuses to do so.
Last week, while speaking at the Netroots National conference in Philadelphia, Shapiro committed to fight for the repeal of this legislation.
“This was passed as a pilot program to determine if concurrent jurisdiction efforts could help stem the rising tide of gun violence in Philadelphia, which is why the amendment’s provisions sunset in two years,” White explained. “For the attorney general to choose to not partake of this program and see if it could help is simply irresponsible.”
“Gun violence continues to rise. This past weekend alone, we had seven more shootings in our city and during the weekend of June 22, 11 people were shot,” White said. “This is a crisis fueled in part by criminals believing they won’t be held responsible by the very prosecutors elected to do so, and the attorney general has sadly just reinforced this belief.”
“How many more people have to die?”
Representative Martina White
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster