As City Council nears the winter recess – with only one meeting between now and its final session on Dec. 12 – city legislators looked to both curtail a deadly phenomenon before it spreads to Philadelphia, and make Philadelphia an even greener city.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson won passage of his bill that would outlaw the manufacture and possession of 3D firearms, noting the importance of passing such legislation within the city, as Pennsylvania currently has no statute expressly prohibiting the manufacturing and ownership of such a weapon.
Johnson said there is proof that someone created a 3D handgun that was able to fire 22 rounds, and that the national security and local criminology implications are clear.
“Today, Philadelphia became one of the first cities in America to proactively address an issue that has the potential to pose a significant danger to the public,” Johnson said, while thanking Councilman Curtis Jones for convening a recent hearing on the issue. “As technology progresses, three-dimensional printers will become more advanced, less expensive and more commonplace. As instructions for the manufacture of guns via 3D printing technology are already available on the Internet, we could be looking at a recipe for disaster.”
Presently, 3D printers run anywhere from $499 to nearly $2,000, with some designs costing even more. The bill now goes to Mayor Michael Nutter for his signature, and once the mayor signs it into law, Johnson’s measure would prohibit individuals other than licensed gun manufacturers from producing firearms using 3-D printers.
Council also passed an intriguing bill relating to the ongoing Marcellus Shale drilling operations in the central and northwestern sections of the state. Council passed Jones’ resolution – which calls on energy producers currently engaged in the hydrocarbon recovery within the Marcellus shale operations to provide discount natural gas molecules to the city as part of its consent agenda, which passed unanimously.
Councilwoman Mariann Tasco’s bill that further clarified the city’s ability to sell Philadelphia Gas Works’ Revenue Notes to either public of private entities were among the other highlights of the consent agenda. Tasco’s bill will allow PGW to raise funds to complete various projects while adopting a rate covenant with the city.
Meanwhile, council also passed a measure crafted between Councilmen W. Wilson Goode Jr. and Dennis O’Brien that frees up additional appropriations to allow the city to meet its financial obligations relating to the arbitrator-awarded contract for Local 22 of International Association of Firefighters.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a measure that would make permanent the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, noting that doing so is in step with Nutter’s vision of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America.
Brown’s legislation would amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to better clarify the five main duties of the office: To develop and coordinate the implementation of policies and programs to meet sustainability goals, create periodic sustainability plans, disseminate sustainability plans, coordinate sustainability plans and programs across inter-governmental offices and, lastly, to promote public awareness and sustainability education.
“I can testify through a first-hand working relationship that the Office of Sustainability is bringing significant value to Philadelphia. They have put Philadelphia on the map as a national leader on issues surrounding the environment and sustainability,” said Brown, who serves also as the chair of the environment committee. “Cities across the nation now call Philadelphia for advice on how to become more sustainable; this simply did not happen before the founding of this office and their track record of achieving results.
“By making this office permanent, we signal Philadelphia’s long-term commitment to protecting the planet for our young people.”