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An 8-hour active shooter standoff that ended at 12:30 a.m. Thursday in Philadelphia and wounded 6 police officers has Democrats at the local, state and federal levels calling for immediate action in the way of gun control legislation.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, however, alleged shooter Maurice Hill had a lengthy criminal history prior to Wednesday night’s mass shooting that would have legally barred him from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
The standoff began in the late afternoon as Philadelphia Police Department officers responded to a narcotics incident in the city’s Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood, KYW-TV reported.
By 4:30 p.m., shots had been fired and a police perimeter was soon established, with several officers trapped inside shooter’s residence.
The 31-year-old Hill fired a number of shots, barricading himself inside the residence until early the next morning, when he finally surrendered to authorities. No officers were killed.
In light of two horrific mass shootings which took the lives of more than 30 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in recent weeks, Democratic politicians have had no reservations lumping this shooting in with the rest — and using it to justify gun rights restrictions.
Despite recent anti-police rhetoric (accusing cops of murder in the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown) 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren was one of the first to use the injured officers to push the anti-gun narrative.
“We don’t have to live like this. We must pass gun reform laws to end the gun violence epidemic—now,” the Massachusetts senator wrote on Twitter, even before Hill had surrendered himself to the authorities.
Philadelphia’s Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney jumped on that bandwagon as well, USA Today reported, telling politicians at every level to “step up or step aside.”
“Our officers deserve to be protected and they don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy, for hours, with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets,” Kenney told reporters. “It’s disgusting. And we’ve got to do something about it.”
According to reports from The Inquirer and the Washington Examiner, however, no legislation not already on the books federally or in Pennsylvania could have stopped Wednesday’s mass shooting.
Hill should never have been in possession of a firearm in the first place, the outlets reported.
Court documents show Hill has been arrested numerous times since he turned 18 in 2001, racking up nearly a dozen arrests in several states and being convicted of six felonies — some state and some federal.
Hill has served multiple prison terms, “including a 55-month sentence in 2010” the Examiner reported.
According to the Giffords Law Center, several of Hill’s convictions would bar him from legal possession of a firearm under both Pennsylvania state law and the federal Gun Control Act of 1968.
Those charges include a felony conviction for aggravated assault and, ironically, federal firearms violations.
Hill was reportedly sentenced to more than four years in federal prison in 2008 for possession of a “Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and a Taurus PT .45 semi-automatic, which he was not lawfully allowed to possess due to his prior felony convictions,” the Examiner reported.
Even before that, The Inquirer noted, Hill’s first arrest involved the confiscation of a firearm with an illegally altered serial number.
Clearly the gun control laws already on the books are being enforced in an effective manner.