In 2004, a federal ban on assault weapons expired.
Now, four years later, Mayor Michael Nutter and Governor Ed Rendell want to reduce violent crime nationally by convincing Congress to re-enact the ban.
The 10-year federal ban forbids the possession, manufacture, use and import of assault weapons. And according to a 1999 National Institute of Justice study, it reduced the percent of crime committed with assault weapons, including police murders, by a significant amount.
With murder rates in Philadelphia slowly declining under the leadership of both Mayor Nutter and Governor Rendell, it makes sense to continue national progress by outlawing these ultra-violent weapons throughout the country.
Those in possession of assault weapons pose a danger not only to other civilians but also to law enforcement officers, making the job of protecting our streets that much more perilous. Considering the recent number of tragic police deaths, this fact firmly supports the proposition of renewal.
A previous editorial proposed that Philadelphia be allowed to make its own laws regarding gun control; Rendell and Nutter's solution to this problem, the expansion of laws to apply nationally, would benefit the entire country.
By taking such initiatives, our mayor and governor maintain Pennsylvania's position as a forward-thinking state, pushing for safety in every corner of our nation.