Capitol rally calls for tougher gun laws

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Possessing an illegal gun and terroristic threats are two counts Harrisburg's latest homicide suspect was charged with prior to killing another man according to police.

Bundled up with signs in hand, about a dozen people stood on the state Capitol steps to ask lawmakers to enact tougher gun laws.

Chants of “What do we want? Gun control now! Keep kids safe! Keep kids safe!” filled the frigid air. This call for action may have fallen on deaf ears, but protestor Bishop Ogwal-Abwang dropped those words with a heavy heart.

“It is so, so important, because if there was gun control in 1995 when my son was gunned down at Reily and Third Street, he would still be here,” he said.

This father said he continues to see the same startling pattern. He points to Harrisburg's latest homicide last weekend.

Following an argument early Sunday morning outside an after-hours club on Cameron Street, police said 18-year-old Corey Reid shot 33-year-old Matthew Dyson. Police arrested Reid on Monday and charged him with homicide.

On online court records indicate Reid was arrested twice within the past several weeks. He was charged on January 24 with simple assault, criminal mischief, and possession of a weapon. Then on February 5, he was charged with three counts of terroristic threats.

Reid was released on bail and was waiting court appearances in early March for those crimes.

“That just emphasizes the need to have gun control,” said Ogwal-Abwang.

Not just gun control, but this dedicated group of people wanted lawmakers to strengthen measures on background checks, not to mention tougher laws for legal and illegal weapons.

Bonnie Zink was outraged to hear Reid was free to roam with a violent past.

“If I drive irresponsibly and I'm responsible for someone's death, I will lose my license for at least a short period of time, but if I use a weapon I don't lose my license,” she said.

The gun debate still brings people to a boil on both sides of the issue. Yet, compromise is the political carrot that continues to dangle outside the Capitol's green dome.

“I believe that guns should be re-registered every year, just the way cars are so we have a paper trail of where they are,” said Zink.

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