Pa. gun-rights rally draws light turnout

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An annual gun-rights rally drew a lighter-than-usual turnout at Pennsylvania’s Capitol, while a House panel backed minimum prison sentences for felons who possess firearms.

About 150 people attended today’s rally. They cheered legislators who took turns criticizing the state’s instant-check system for prospective gun buyers and other requirements they view as obstructions to their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Also today, the House Judiciary Committee voted 21-3 to approve a bill to set a minimum five-year prison term for felons caught possessing firearm and minimums of up to 25 years for repeat offenders.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Todd Stephens, shrugged off concerns by some of the panelists about minimum sentences contributing to prison overcrowding. The Montgomery County Republican said prisons are built for these types of offenders.

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