Talks are expected this week to find a middle ground on a bill that would send offenders to jail for three years if they commit a crime with a gun. The measure, which would impose the stiffer sentence, was supposed to be called for a committee vote last week. The sponsor pulled it over concerns voiced by the National Rifle Association and pro-gun lawmakers, such as State Rep. Brandon W. Phelps (D-Harrisburg).
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He fears that the bill, as written, would have unintended consequences that would send the wrong people to jail. “I don’t think anybody should go to jail for three years for a mistake,” said Phelps. “With the new conceal carry law there’s going to be people that mess up, there’s going to be honest, law-abiding gun owners that are going to make a mistake.” Phelps says both sides will be meeting this week to work through their differences in the hope of moving the bill next week during the second week of the fall session.