Last night, CeaseFirePA was invited to make a presentation during the regular meeting of the Jenkintown Borough Council. We had been advised that the Council would be voting to rescind Jenkintown’s lost and stolen reporting ordinance. CeaseFirePA pledged to continue fighting Act 192 and working with mayors, police chiefs, town councils and individual Pennsylvanians for commonsense gun policies.
Although no one on Council actually wanted to rescind the ordinance, Council, in reliance on legal advice, believed it had no other choice in the wake of the passage of Act 192. Impassioned speeches were made by Mayor Ed Foley, Council President Deborah Sines-Pancoe and Vice President Richard Bunker, Jr., himself a gun owner. A vote was then taken, with most – if not all – of the ten votes to rescind being cast “under protest,” and two council people voting no.
We must commend the members of the Jenkintown Borough Council for being dedicated public servants. Like their counterparts across the Commonwealth, they are now being faced – as one councilperson noted – with the impossible choice of prioritizing public safety or public funds. They recognized that their town is being punished because Harrisburg is held hostage by the gun lobby. But they did not hide their decision or bury it in procedural language. Instead, they called the vote what it was – a vote in protest they were being forced to take.
The Jenkintown Borough Councilmembers are regular folks, mothers, fathers, our neighbors – who because they have stepped up to serve, have been thrust into an impossible situation. They had to reject a policy they believe in and that their police believe in out of fear of lawsuits by a well-funded gun lobby. This is an untenable position, and our elected officials in Harrisburg should be ashamed for doing this to Jenkintown and all the other towns across PA that have taken reasonable measures to make their communities safer.