Cruz to introduce bill to help curb crime and violence with statewide gun buyback program

HARRISBURG, July 1 – To help combat crime and violence and reduce the number of guns sold on the streets, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he plans to advance legislation that would allow civilians to sell legal and illegal firearms to law enforcement agencies without prosecution for possession.

“I am proposing legislation requiring the Office of Attorney General to establish a statewide gun buyback program in conjunction with the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police,” Cruz said. “Under the program, anyone surrendering a firearm would be able to do so anonymously, without the threat of prosecution and also receive an incentive.”

According to the lawmaker, gun buyback programs have served communities by decreasing gun suicide risks, providing opportunities for safe storage education, and aiding localities in identifying guns used in unsolved crimes. Cruz pointed out that despite these benefits, gun buyback programs are often sporadically available and under- or inconsistently funded.

“Given the broad, bipartisan support for these programs -- 87% of Democrats support such a program, as do 73% of independents and 66% of Republicans -- we must work together to ensure their sustainability.”