Cartwright among minority of Democratic lawmakers who own guns
Barletta and Toomey, both Republicans, also own guns
Last Modified: April 26. 2013 10:32AM
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright is in a small minority of congressmen who are registered Democrats but admit to owning a gun.
In the case of Cartwright, D-Moosic, he jointly owns a .22 Remington single-shot bolt-action rifle with his brothers. Though he does not have a license-to-carry permit, he is one of only 46 of the 252 Democrats in Congress who have made it known they own a gun, according to a USA Today survey published this week.
There might be more, as 81 Democrats declined to answer or gave no response, according to USA Today.
The findings show that of those who responded to the query, 34 percent of Democrats said they are gun owners, compared to 90 percent of the responding Republicans.
Both U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, own guns.
Barletta, according to spokesman Tim Murtaugh, owns a shotgun and a handgun and has a license-to-carry permit. Toomey, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Anderson, owns at least one gun, but she did not reveal what type or other details.
In an appearance this week on the “Dom Giordano Show” on a Philadelphia radio station, Toomey said: “I’ve owned a firearm for a very long time. I just like the idea of having a firearm. I know how to use it. I’ve got every right to have it.
“Like most Pennsylvanians, a majority of Pennsylvanians,” he said, “I’ve owned a firearm for a long time.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, is among the 19 Senate Democrats who said they do not own a gun.
As gun control has taken a front seat on President Barack Obama’s platform after recent mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado, more attention is being paid to gun laws and the men and women who have the power to change them.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Philadelphia Monday, the latest step of the administration’s push for more stringent gun laws. He’ll be joined by law enforcement officials, Deputy Attorney General James Cole and congressmen from Pennsylvania, including Casey.
Casey modifies stance
Casey has said that after long opposing new gun laws, he had changed his views in the aftermath of the December shootings in Newtown, Conn. He’s since said he would support bills to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
“I continue to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and believe in the right of citizens to own guns for their own protection as well as for hunting, recreation, and collection,” Casey said in an emailed statement. “Nonetheless, after reflecting on the power of the weapon and the number of bullets that hit each child in Sandy Hook, the reinstatement of a ban on military-style weapons and high capacity magazines are two common-sense steps that I support. Moving forward, my hope is that Republicans and Democrats will come together and act in response to this great tragedy.”
Cartwright, who serves on the House Gun Violence Task Force, said, “It’s time for Congress to act to reduce gun violence.”
The task force issued a list of 15 principles its members believe could be followed to reduce gun violence and still respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
One area Republican who did not offer up whether he owns a gun is U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township. In response to the query, the former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said through spokeswoman Sarah Wolf, “None of your damn business.”