The Pennsylvania domestic violence law known as Act 79 aims to keep victims safe by making alleged abusers hand over their firearms. Surrounding counties are seeing weapons recovered at a rate of between 40% and 60% since the law rolled out in April. But in Philly, that number is drastically lower. Meanwhile, one of Philly’s most powerful people outside of elected office is stepping down from one of the region’s most powerful companies. Now, there’s speculation about what this political power player will do next.
A new Pennsylvania law was created to protect victims of domestic violence. It requires that alleged abusers turn in their guns. But in Philly, the rollout has been less than ideal.
Since April, 574 accused domestic abusers have been ordered to hand over weapons in the city. The number who complied: 62.
So why has Philadelphia struggled to get defendants to turn in weapons? It depends on whom you ask. Some point to flaws in the law, while others blame communication among law enforcement. Sheriff-elect Rochelle Bilal said she was surprised how many guns might still be out there and added that "saving lives should be a priority.”
David L. Cohen is one of the most powerful unelected people Philadelphia has seen in decades. On Thursday, media giant Comcast announced that Cohen would be stepping away from his operational role in the company after 18 years, leaving behind a wide range of responsibilities for others to take on.
A Comcast source said that while Cohen was not forced out, a factor in his departure is likely that he and CEO Brian Roberts have been at odds over how “Comcast is perceived in Philadelphia.”
The source — citing Cohen’s years in city politics as then-Mayor Ed Rendell’s right-hand man — called Cohen “a genius” in his heyday. But the source noted that Cohen has fallen out of touch with Philly politics as more progressive movements have taken shape.
Cohen’s political influence made him a top lobbyist in Washington and he’s become a force in presidential campaigns, hosting fundraisers for Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama. He’s also given money to several GOP candidates.
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