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Pennsylvania’s House Judiciary Committee approved a measure Tuesday that would reinstate mandatory minimums and revoke bail for repeat offenders found in proximity to a gun.

And even though House Bill 1587’s prime sponsor is a Democrat from West Philadelphia, it’s unlikely the rest of Rep. Amen Brown’s party – including Gov. Tom Wolf – will support his proposal.

“I clearly understand what I’m proposing is not typical for an African American Democrat, but what I am proposing is that we can longer allow for repeat violent offenders to dictate and control our lives,” he said. “We do not have to live like this.”

Brown said firearm-related homicides increased 40% in Philadelphia this year, so far. He believes bringing back mandatory minimums for those with prior felony convictions and eliminating bail will erase the impression that punishment for illegally possessing a gun is “minimal.”  “In my community, we are bleeding,” he said. “We are afraid [and] we are prisoners in our own homes. We are tired of living in fear.”

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