PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mayor Jim Kenney asked the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to help get one specific gun law passed in Pennsylvania during his final appearance before the group as mayor.
Instead of a speech at the chamber’s annual mayor’s luncheon, Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Gregory E. Deavens conducted a question-and-answer session with the mayor. He asked what businesses could do to help the city’s gun violence problem.
“One thing that you guys can help us with is a very sensible law that we can’t get passed,” said Kenney. He asked the business community for help lobbying the state legislature to require that lost and stolen guns be reported to police, so they can’t be resold illegally.
“You have to report your car stolen, your bike stolen, your dog stolen, but you don’t have to report your gun stolen,” he said. “One of the major problems that we face is people buying guns for people that should never have them, and if you could help us get that done, that would be a big thing.”
He said that such a move would not restrict gun ownership, get rid of assault weapons or do anything with ammunition.
The city had such an ordinance, but Commonwealth Court ruled nearly a year ago that the city’s law was illegal.
One of the judges who voted to throw out the law lamented that their ruling would put people’s lives at risk, but the state’s Uniform Firearms Act preempts it.
Kenney also offered three things of advice for his successor to be elected this year.
“Be friends with the Council president, listen to your lawyers,” he said, “and stay out of trouble.”
“I thought his advice was very sound,” said one of the candidates hoping to replace Kenney, ShopRite owner Jeff Brown. He added that the mayor was at his best.
“I found his remarks inspiring. He’s going out on a high note with that,” said Brown.
Kenney admitted he felt a bit emotional about making his last appearance here as mayor, but also a little relief.
“All I know is that on good days and bad days, I’ve done my best and I care. Maybe sometimes I care too much because that’s expressed in my face,” Kenney said.
“ ‘Why aren’t you smiling all the time? Well, there’s not always a lot to smile about. I mean, I’d love to smile all the time, but you’d think I was nuts.”