Bill seeks accurate data on gun violence through nonpartisan research center

State lawmakers representing the Philadelphia region have introduced legislation to start and fund a nonpartisan, academic research center on gun violence in Pennsylvania with the goal of providing policymakers and the public with accurate data to develop policies and programs that prevent gun violence.

House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton joined state Reps. Joe Hohenstein and Stephen Kinsey in introducing the bill (H.B.2009), which was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review.  

“In 2019, there were 1,541 people killed in Pennsylvania as a result of gun violence,” Hohenstein said. “There is a dire need to implement new policies that could prevent so much unnecessary death in our communities.”

McClinton strongly agreed.

“Gun violence has become a massive public-health crisis that must be addressed now,” McClinton said. “This center would provide key research to determine the main causes behind gun violence and what strategies are most effective at reducing it in Pennsylvania.”

Gun violence is particularly rampant in Philadelphia, where more than 2,200 people were shot in 2020, according to statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department.

“Shootings are happening more frequently and our current approach to combat them is not working,” Kinsey said. “Our duty as legislators is to protect and serve our constituents. Establishing this research center is crucial in helping us create a safer Pennsylvania.”

If H.B. 2009 is enacted, academic institutions in Pennsylvania could apply to host the research center. An evaluation committee would recommend two proposals to the governor, who would make the final decision.