Capitol Wire: Bill: bullet-proof vests would be required for security companies

I continue to cover the State Capitol for Capitol Wire, a service for which you don’t have a subscription, so I can only give you a taste. This is part of a post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association.

HARRISBURG – Bullet-proof vests would need to be company-issued for private security guards who carry firearms, according to a bill that was reported out of the House Judiciary committee Tuesday.

House Bill 2119, introduced by John P. Sabatina Jr., D-Philadelphia, would require private security companies to purchase bullet-proof vests for employees with firearms.

In October 2007, two guards from security giant Loomis were killed and another injured in a neighborhood in Sabatina’s Northeast Philadelphia district.

“I believe bullet-proof vests would have saved their lives,” Sabatina said. Those given vests would not be required by the bill to wear them.

Minority Chairman Ronald S. Marsico, R-Dauphin, suggested the economic burden the legislation would put on smaller security firms is undue, considering police departments in Pennsylvania aren’t bound by similar mandates.

“Just wait,” Sabatina said. “That could be next.”

After the bill initially failed 14-15, Kathy M. Manderino, D-Philadelphia, called for reconsideration and switched her vote to an affirmative so the measure could be reported out of committee and developed on the House floor.

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