Senator Vincent Hughes

The major drug bust Tuesday of nearly 200,000 doses of heroin and fentanyl, along with the continued shootings across the city of Philadelphia, should send a message to all of us that the issues around who authored the “concurrent jurisdiction” language in Harrisburg is secondary; especially in light of the fact that Attorney General Josh Shapiro has said publicly that he has no intention of utilizing the authority that the language provides. I have no knowledge that the Attorney General advocated for this language, but I do know that the Attorney General did support an unprecedented 57 percent increase in funding for the Gun Violence Task Force, which he and District Attorney Larry advocated for in the legislature. In cooperation with the Attorney General’s office and Gov. Tom Wolf’s office, these officials responded to the cries of the people and added an $2.5 million in funding to the Gun Violence Task Force. These extra funds will do a significant amount of good in helping get guns off our streets. Continuing to play the blame game on a matter that will not be pursued is a waste of time and emotion, is a distraction from our ultimate goal, and will not further the fight against gun violence, which should be our relentless focus. I have introduced legislation today to repeal the “concurrent jurisdiction”  provision in Philadelphia and I am hopeful that when we return to session in September this matter can be addressed legislatively. In the meantime, let’s focus on what Philadelphians all want, which is the guns off our streets and safe and peaceful communities.