PW breaks down Dan Onorato's and Tom Corbett's platforms.
Corbett’s website says he plans on implementing a two-year budget cycle he claims would “provide better control of costs and allow better predictability for agency budgets.” In addition, he would “require state departments and agencies to meet performance goals to determine funding levels and will eliminate funding for any program that has failed to meet its stated goals over a multi-year period.”
Corbett: Protect the Second Amendment
Onorato: Enact state and local laws to reduce the number of illegal handguns
The “Florida Loophole,” as it’s called, is a policy in which Pennsylvania residents may log onto Florida’s Department of Agriculture website and obtain a carry permit, even if they’ve been denied one in their home state. In the last three months, at least two Philadelphians have been killed by a gun owner who obtained a permit this way. Onorato has repeatedly exploited this issue when given the opportunity. “We should close [the Florida loophole] tomorrow,” he says. “I’m going to block that as soon as I get to Harrisburg because we shouldn’t let the Department of Agriculture in Florida tell us who should carry guns in Pennsylvania.”
One hundred and seventy five mayors across the state have signed a letter to Corbett asking him to close the loophole, and several newspapers, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Philadelphia Inquirer, have pressured the attorney general, who is backed by the National Rifle Association. But Corbett not only claims he can’t close the loophole as attorney general, he doesn’t believe such a loophole even exists: “I don’t believe there is a Florida loophole,” he said during a debate two weeks ago.
Onorato believes Corbett, as attorney general, has the power to close this loophole tomorrow. As does CeaseFirePA, a Philly-based nonprofit dedicated to eliminating illegal gun purchases and gun violence: “As attorney general, Corbett already has the power to close the Florida loophole by amending Pennsylvania’s reciprocity agreement with Florida. But, despite testimony from every leading police organization in Pennsylvania, and nearly 200 Pennsylvania mayors, Corbett still denies the Florida Loophole is a threat to the safety of Pennsylvania neighborhoods.”
Onorato has the backing of both District Attorney Seth Williams and Mayor Michael Nutter. He says “the Second Amendment is quite clear” in that U.S. citizens can have guns to hunt and to defend themselves, but “we’re also allowed to have reasonable” and local regulations.
“I support regulations that force you to report your gun if it’s lost or stolen,” Onorato says. “I support child-safety locks. I support having local laws in Philadelphia.”
And his views mirror those of another official endorsed by CeaseFirePA: “I’ve talked to Seth Williams about this issue,” he says. “I know Mayor Nutter, too, has been lobbying in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., to get more local regulations. We all agree on a lot of issues so I’m excited and honored to have their endorsements. When I’m in Harrisburg I plan on working closely—especially with Seth Williams—to close the Florida Loophole.”
As Rebecca Roter stood on Broad Street, heavy clouds threatening rain overhead, she brandished a bottle of murky water labeled “Bradford County.” Her question was: Would you want to drink this? The answer from the dozens gathered outside the Doubletree Hotel yesterday, was a resounding “No fracking way.”