Addressing Gun Violence in PA Must Remain a Priority



Even as our country fights through a worldwide pandemic – and the health and economic concerns associated with it – gun violence remains an ever-present danger in Pennsylvania. This is particularly true of under-served areas, from Philadelphia to Erie.

Bipartisan bills designed to reduce gun violence and keep communities safer – none of which come anywhere close to wholesale rejection of the 2nd Amendment,  continue to languish in committee, not even deemed important enough to discuss, let alone receive votes.

Help your PA neighbors make noise this fall by sending legislative leaders in Harrisburg a message that you still expect action on legislation to fight yet another deadly public health emergency.

 

Introduced in the House

Legislation         

Sponsor

Brief Description

Current Status

Proposed July 10, 2020

Reps. Benjamin V. Sanchez and Representative Mike Zabel

Establishes 72-Hour Waiting Period for all firearm transfers

 Introduced

HB 2291

Representative Carolyn T. Comitta

Permits local governments to regulate firearms on public property.

Referred to Judiciary: February 18, 2020

HB 2216

Rep. Burgos

Bans the sale of certain toy guns and imitation firearms. Toy guns with vibrant colors and tones are still permissible. Exceptions: 1) Toy gun/imitation firearm used for cinematic/theatrical productions, 2) Nonfiring collector replicas produced before 1898.

Referred to Judiciary: January 15, 2020

HB 165

Rep. Maria P. Donatucci

Permits individuals who believe that they are a threat to themselves or others to request to be placed on a voluntary firearm purchase self-exclusion list for one year, three years, or five years

Referred to Judiciary January 28, 2019

Reported as committed: September 24, 2019

First consideration: September 24, 2019

Laid on the table: September 24, 2019

Removed from table: December 17, 2019

Laid on the table: December 17, 2019

HB 2076

Representative Isabella V. Fitzgerald 

Requires that driver’s licenses and photo identification cards specify whether an individual possesses a concealed carry permit.

Referred to Judiciary: November 20, 2019

HB 2077  

Rep. Isabella V. Fitzgerald

Requires that all firearms be safely stored whenever they are not in use to ensure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands.

Referred to Judiciary: November 20, 2019

 

HB 2078

Rep. Isabella V. Fitzgerald

Establishes a 72-hour waiting period for purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles

Referred to Judiciary: November 20, 2019

 

HB 1889

Reps. Joanna E. McClinton, Stephen Kinsey, and Joseph C. Hohenstein

Requires a selection committee to accept proposals for a non-partisan research center for gun-related violence in Pennsylvania. Independent colleges, state-related and state-owned institutions would be eligible to submit proposals to host the research center. The center would be responsible for working with the Executive and Legislative branches to identify, implement and evaluate innovative gun violence prevention policies and programs. It would also be responsible for conducting interdisciplinary research, all of which would be made available to the public.

Referred to Judiciary: September 26, 2019

 

HR 534

Reps. Joanna E. McClinton, Stephen Kinsey, and Joseph C. Hohenstein

Directs the Joint State Government Commission (JSGC) to research gun violence as a public health crisis.

Referred to Judiciary: September 26, 2019

 

HB 1847

Rep. Thomas P. Murt

Eliminates the “gun show loophole” by requiring that all firearm sales, including long guns, be conducted in front of a licensed dealer or a sheriff. Adds a new provision to allow for a single background check that would remain valid for 48 hours for use at gun shows across the Commonwealth. Familial transfers will still be excluded from the background check requirement, as in current law.

Referred to Judiciary: September 23, 2019

 

HB 1857

Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman

Raises the age to purchase a semi- automatic assault rifle to 21.

 Referred to Judiciary: September 23, 2019

HB 1858

Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman

Creates a Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle Safety Certification Course and requires successful completion before a person could purchase a semi-automatic assault rifle in Pennsylvania

 Referred to Judiciary: September 23, 2019

HB 1764

Rep. Donna Bullock

Makes it a crime to possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a public recreation area. A public recreation area would be defined as a park, recreation center or pool owned or operated by a political subdivision.

Referred to Judiciary: August 30, 2019

 

HB 1748

Rep. Michael J. Driscoll

Requires those with D.I.Y. firearms to obtain a serial number or other identifying mark from a licensed firearms dealer and affix it to the firearm. It also prohibits the possession, use, control, sale, delivery, transfer, manufacture, marketing, and advertisement of D.I.Y. semiautomatic weapons.

Referred to Judiciary: August 16, 2019

 

HB 1753

Reps. Wendy Ullman and Stephen Kinsey

Proposal #1 - Requires that individuals complete a firearm safety training course prior to purchasing the individual’s first firearm.

 

Proposal #2 - Requires that individuals in Pennsylvania complete a firearm training course prior to receiving a concealed carry permit.

 Referred to Judiciary: August 16, 2019

HB 1762

Rep. Kevin J. Boyle

Prohibits the sale, offering, and exposing for sale, use, purchase, possession, and control of a large capacity ammunition magazine (defined as an automatic ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 15 rounds of ammunition or 5 shotgun shells).

Referred to Judiciary: August 16, 2019

 

HB 1725

Rep. Mary Jo Daley

Prohibits bringing a handgun or a rifle to all areas of a polling place holding an election. It would make it a misdemeanor of the third degree for knowingly possessing a firearm in a polling place, and a misdemeanor of the first degree for using the firearm at a polling place in a commission of a crime.

Referred to Judiciary: July 22, 2019

HB 1815

Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Bridget M. Kosierowski

Further defines safe waiting areas in Crime Victims Act of 1998, directs the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to set standards for their construction, requires the same secure waiting areas to be available in hospitals, and guarantees these secure waiting areas be available to similarly vulnerable groups: witnesses, attorneys, and family members of victims.

Referred to Judiciary: September 16, 2019

HB1527

Rep. Mike Zabel

Prohibits the purchase, sale, and production of untraceable gun parts

 Referred to Judiciary: May 30, 2019

HB 1494

Rep. Brian Sims

Only licensed firearm dealers would be able to sell ammunition, and a business can use its existing license to see both firearms and ammunition. When a person wishes to purchase ammunition, the licensee would contact the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS), and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) would conduct a background investigation. Additionally, a PSP ammunition purchase can be obtained, which would allow an individual to purchase ammunition for four years without the need to get a background check for every ammunition purchase.

 Referred to Judiciary: May 22, 2019

HB 1456 

Rep. Joseph C. Hohenstein

Addresses and inflicts harsher penalties on those who participate in “straw purchasing.” This is defined as purchasing a firearm for another person who is legally prohibited from owning one.

 Referred to Judiciary: May 14, 2019

   

 

Proposed

Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman

Closes the loophole that allows weapons to be brought into court waiting areas.

 

HB 1288

Rep. Benjamin V. Sanchez

Requires any owner or other person lawfully in possession of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of a weapon to report it to law enforcement within 72 hours of the discovery. If a person fails to do so, he or she will be charged with a summary offense. 

 Referred to Judiciary: April 25, 2019

Proposed

Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman

Creates a mechanism to allow victims of abuse to petition the court with sufficient proof that there are guns in the home and present a significant danger to the victim.

HB 1162

Rep. Peter Schweyer

Raises the minimum age to purchase a military – style semi- automatic weapon to 21. It exempts members of the armed services from this law.

 Referred to Judiciary: April 8, 2019

HB 1075

Rep. Todd Stephens

Creates an alternative to the 302 Process, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO). ERPOs provide a mechanism for loved ones, family members, and law enforcement to ask a Judge to hold a hearing to determine whether an individual is in crisis and should be temporarily disarmed.

The legislation is intended to reduce suicides by:

 A family member or law enforcement officer may present evidence to a judge that someone poses an immediate threat to themselves or others.

After reviewing the evidence, the Court could immediately issue an interim ERPO temporarily barring the individual from possessing firearms but must conduct a full hearing within 10 days or the court could schedule a full hearing without issuing the interim ERPO.

At the hearing, the subject of the petition is provided an attorney, may offer evidence and testimony and may cross-examine any witnesses before a final order can be issued.

If, after this hearing, the Court determines that there is an extreme risk of harm if continued access to firearms is permitted, the Court shall grant the petition and prohibit access to firearms and ammunition for no more than one year.

If the petition is granted, the subject of the ERPO may demand a hearing to terminate the ERPO at any time.

The bill also imposes criminal penalties on any person who files a petition for an ERPO that contains false statements and allows the gun owner to bring a civil cause of action against anyone who attempts to fraudulently obtain an ERPO.

Referred to Judiciary: April 5, 2019

 

HB 1028

Rep. Stephen McCarter

Permits law enforcement officers, family and household members, and certain health professionals to petition the court for a firearm restraining order to prevent a dangerous individual from possessing or purchasing a firearm, ammunition, or another type of weapon. Any individual subject to a firearm restraining order will be granted due process to ensure that no responsible firearm owner will lose their right to possess a firearm.

Referred to Judiciary: April 2, 2019

 

Proposed

Rep. Carolyn T. Comitta

Prohibits individuals from carrying loaded firearms in their vehicles.

HB 824

Rep. Scott Conklin

Requires electronic monitoring of domestic abusers in cases of domestic violence when a final protection from abuse (PFA) is issued. 

 Referred to Judiciary: March 14, 2019

 

HB 768

Rep. Angel Cruz

Creates a firearm registration within the PA State Police. Upon application and approval, firearm owners will be given a registration certificate, valid for one year, for each registered firearm they own. A registration certificate will only be issued to individuals who are eligible to possess a firearm under Federal and State law, who have never been convicted of a crime of violence and have not been convicted of a crime relating to the use, possession, or sale of any dangerous drug within five years prior to the application.

 Referred to Judiciary: March 8, 2019

HB 162

Rep. Mike Zabel

Places a limit on the purchases of handguns in PA, allowing one handgun per individual within any 30- day period (with exceptions for licensed firearm dealers, licensed firearm collectors, law enforcement and correction facilities, licensed private security companies, antique firearms and stolen firearms). Fines or fees imposed on those who violate this law would be deposited into a Violence Prevention Fund in the State Treasury to be used for police grants to prevent gun-related injuries.

 

 

HB 724

Rep. Anthony M. DeLuca

Requires that before being issued a license to carry a firearm concealed on or about one’s person or in a vehicle, an applicant will be required to complete a minimum of six hours of a basic firearm training program with a certified firearms instructor approved by the National Ride Association (NRA).

 Referred to Judiciary: March 6, 2019

HB 738

Rep. Brian Kirkland

Requires all individuals to provide an official form of photographic identification with every purchase of firearm ammunition in the Commonwealth.

Referred to Judiciary: March 6, 2019

 

HB 740

Rep. Brian Kirkland

Prohibits the purchase of realistic toy firearms by individuals under 18 years of age, unless they are accompanied by an adult at the time of purchase.

 Referred to Judiciary: March 6, 2019

HB 700

Rep. Stephen McCarter and Rep P. Michael Sturla

Bans the manufacturing, sale, and possession of undetectable firearms, included 3-D printed firearms.

 Referred to Judiciary: March 5, 2019

HB 699

Rep. Stephen McCarter and Rep. P. Michael Sturla

Ensures a 3- D printed firearm is treated as a standard firearm under law and is subject to all standing regulation. In addition, it would prohibit anyone from printing a firearm without a license from the federal government to manufacture firearms.

 Referred to Judiciary: March 5, 2019

HB 673

Rep. Perry S. Warren

Eliminates the “gun show loophole” in the Commonwealth to ensure that all firearm sales must be subject to a background check. This would not require a background check for firearm transfers between direct family members.
 

 Referred to Judiciary: March 1, 2019

HB 525

Rep. Tim Briggs

Requires the safe storage of firearms in homes where children may be present. Failure to comply with this rule would result in a felony of the third degree if used in a crime or if death or grievous injury is caused, or a summary offense (misdemeanor of the third degree if second or subsequent offense) if a child is simply found in unlawful possession of a firearm.

 Referred to Judiciary: February 19, 2019

HB 532

Rep. Perry S. Warren

Require that firearm owners to safely store all of their firearms when residing with a person who cannot legally possess a firearm.

 Referred to Judiciary: February 19, 2019

HB 467

Rep. Angel Cruz

Creates a new firearm eligibility license. The license requires an individual to be at least 21 years of age, complete an application, live in PA, complete a firearms safety training course within the last three years and not be prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

 Referred to Judiciary: February 11, 2019

HB 459 & HB 462

Rep. Angel Cruz

Cuts the timeframe from 7 days to 72 – 96 hours to notify the Pennsylvania State Police of a person that has a mental health adjudication, treatment, involuntary commitment or treatment. This would be under the Uniform Firearms Act (HB 459) and the Mental Health Procedures Act (HB 462).

 Referred to Judiciary: February 11, 2019

HB 377

Rep. MaryLouise Isaacson

Requires that law enforcement agencies of the Commonwealth to make reasonable efforts to identify and return all firearms to their rightful and lawful owners. If an owner can’t be identified within 120 days, the firearms would be required to be destroyed. If someone is prohibited from possessing a firearm, they may not have their firearm returned to them. If the firearm is in an ongoing investigation, criminal prosecution, or civil litigation, it would not be required to be confiscated or required. If a firearm is confiscated, they would have to be destroyed at a smelting plant in the Commonwealth.

 Referred to Judiciary: February 5, 2019

HB 378

Rep. MaryLouise Isaacson

Requires that individuals who are ordered to receive outpatient mental health treatment would be prohibited from possessing a firearm until the courts finds that the individual is no longer a danger to himself or herself or to others.

 Referred to Judiciary: February 5, 2019

Proposed

Rep. Stephen Kinsey

Makes it unlawful for a person participating in or attending a public demonstration to possess a firearm or other dangerous article.

 

HB 336

Rep. Angel Cruz

Prohibits individuals, with the exception of law enforcement and security personnel, from carrying firearms, rifles, or shotguns at any time in the Capital Complex. It would also require lockers or similar facilities to be made available, at no charge, for the temporary checking of firearms, rifles, and shotguns by persons lawfully carrying these weapons.

 Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

HB 344

Rep. Angel Cruz

Requires individuals seeking to rent a firearm at a shooting range undergoes a yearly application process that includes a background check

 Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

HB 326

Rep. Perry S. Warren

Prohibits individuals on the federal terrorist watch list from purchasing or possessing a firearm in Pennsylvania. Individuals who believe that they were wrongfully denied a firearm may appeal the denial.

Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

HB 307

Rep. Ed Gainey

Banns the possession, purchase, transfer, use or manufacture of an assault weapon. Exceptions will be made for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserve, National Guard or law enforcement while performing and traveling to and from official duties. The legislation would also not impact a person in lawful ownership of these weapons prior to the date of the new policy enforcement.

Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

 

HB 204

Rep. Angel Cruz

Prohibits the sale of toy or imitation firearms, unless it is constructed in such a way that it can be clearly distinguished from a real firearm.

 Referred to Judiciary: January 28, 2019

Proposed

Rep. Dan Frankel

Removes preemption language from several existing statues within two documents:

Document 1: Removes existing preemption language from the Second-Class County Code.

Document 2: Removes existing preemption language from Title 18 (Crimes) and Title 53 (Municipalities).

 

 

Introduced in the Senate

Legislation

Sponsor

Brief Description

Current Status

SB 867

Sens. Vincent J. Hughes  and Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.

Creates a Pennsylvania Center for Gun Violence Research, which would conduct independent academic research on gun violence and provide policymakers with scientific evidence to develop sound, nonpartisan gun violence prevention policies and programs. The research center will be housed at a university located in the Commonwealth. The university that will host the research center will be selected by a review committee after a solicitation for request for proposals.

Referred to State Government: September 30, 2019

SB 817

Sen. Daylin Leach

Introduces legislation creating a mechanism by which data is transferred to the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and then partnered with an educational institution to organize, analyze, and publish the data. The PCCD would then receive a $10 fee paid by people who commit crimes that involve a firearm.

Referred to Judiciary: August 7, 2019

 

SB 625

Sen. Maria Collett

Allows political subdivisions, by ordinance, the ability to restrict the presence and use of firearms at properties and facilities they own or operate.

Referred to Local Government: May 13, 2019

 

SB 598

Sen. John P. Sabatina Jr.

Adds individuals who are found to be in suspicion of a party or a terrorist organization, on a database maintained by the Federal Government, to be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.  This would not be restricted to only the “Do Not Fly List,” one of the several terrorist watch lists that is maintained.

Referred to Judiciary: April 30, 2019

SB 496

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes and Wayne D. Fontana

Proposes legislation that would ensure a 3- D printed firearm is considered a firearm for purpose of Title 18. Also, the legislation would prohibit anyone from printing a firearm without a license from the Federal Government to manufacture firearms.

Referred to Judiciary: March 29, 2019

SB 483

Sen Christine M. Tartaglione

Requires lost or stolen firearms to be reported to local law enforcement authorities within 24 hours.

Referred to Judiciary: March 28, 2019

Proposed

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes

Amends Title 18 to make it clear that no loaded firearm shall be carried in a vehicle. A first offense would be a third-degree misdemeanor and a second or subsequent offense would be a first-degree misdemeanor. 

 

SB 388

Sen. Jay Costa

Prohibits future investments by Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSER’s), the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS’s), the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS), and the State Treasurer in any company that manufactures assault weapons (such as the AR-15), large capacity ammunition feeding devices, or assault weapon accessories (such as bump stocks). The definitions of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices will be according to the Federal Public safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.

Referred to Finance: March 5, 2019

SB 394

Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. and Sen. Vincent J. Hughes

Amends the Uniform Firearms Act to create the offense of criminal attempt to purchase a firearm and to increase the penalties for false statement on any application to purchase or carry a firearm.

Specifically, under this legislation:

  • A person who attempts to purchase a firearm knowing that he or she is prohibited from possessing, using, controlling, selling, transferring or manufacturing a firearm under the Act would commit a felony of the second degree. A second or subsequent offense would be classified as a felony of the second degree with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years.
  • Would increase penalties for making a false statement on an application to purchase a firearm or on an application for a carry permit. The proposal would make a second or subsequent offense, under that section, a felony of the second degree punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.
  • Makes the penalty for a false statement on an application for a permit to carry a third-degree felony for a first offense and a second-degree felony for a second or subsequent offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.
  • The legislation would amend 18 Pa.C.S. §4904 to increase penalties if the false statement was related to an application for a firearm application or permit to carry.

 

Referred to Judiciary: March 5, 2019

SB 344

Sen. Art Haywood

Requires individuals to obtain a firearm eligibility license prior to purchasing a gun. The license would be similar to a license to carry. In order to qualify for a license, an applicant has to be 18 years or older, live in the Commonwealth, complete a firearms safety course within the last three years, and not be prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Police members, members of the armed forces and correctional officers would be exempt from the training course requirements.  The investigation prior to issuance of a license would include: a review of the applicant’s criminal history, juvenile delinquency records, and mental health records and investigation of whether or not the individual is allowed to have firearm possession by law. This requires an applicant’s fingerprints to run through FBI and state databases. If someone is denied a license, they could petition it in court for review.

Referred to Judiciary: February 27, 2019

 

SB 90

Sen. Thomas K. Killion

Introduces legislation that will add Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that utilize Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Extreme Risk Protection Order (“ERPO”) provides a mechanism for law enforcement and loved ones to request a Court order to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms when they clearly present a danger to themselves and others.  An interim EPO doesn’t last longer than 10 days, which may be ordered by a Judge immediately if there is evidence that shows an imminent risk of harm. A final ERPO lasts between 3 months to 1 year and can only be issued after a full hearing is conducted. This is done when parties have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony. The Judge is only allowed to issue an ERPO if they have clear evidence to do so. If a person receives an ERPO, it does not result in a criminal record. There are criminal penalties for those who violate the Court’s order though.

Referred to Judiciary: February 14, 2019

SB 290

Sen. Anthony H. Williams

Addresses public safety and gun ownership accountability through registration of all firearms in the Commonwealth.

Referred to Judiciary: February 14, 2019

SB 292

Sen. Wayne D. Fontana

Enacts an assault weapons ban in Pennsylvania by broadening the scope of what the state classifies as assault weapons including banning more than 150 gun models. The legislation will also ban the sale of gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

Referred to Judiciary: February 14, 2019

 

SB 293

Sen. Wayne D. Fontana

Establishes a system in our Commonwealth for the implementation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO). This grants family members and law enforcement the ability to petition a court to temporarily suspend an individual’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence the individual can either harm themselves or others.

Referred to Judiciary: February 14, 2019

SB 197

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes

Amends the Uniform Firearms Act (UFA) to impose strict civil and criminal liability on any person, licensed importer, licensed dealer or licensed manufacturer who knowingly and intentionally sells, delivers or transfers a firearm in violation of the UFA if that gun is subsequently used in a crime or attempted crime.

Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

SB 195

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.

Amends the Uniform Firearms Act to require an individual to complete a firearms safety or training course as a condition of being issued a Concealed Carry Permit. Acceptable courses would be any of the following:

  • Any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission or a similar agency of another state;
  • Any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
  • Any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, an educational institution, a private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, or the Pennsylvania State Police;
  • Any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for law enforcement or security enforcement personnel;
  • Evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service; or
  • Any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor.

Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

SB 198

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes

Amends the Uniform Firearms Act to expand the list of criminal convictions that disqualify a person from possessing, using, manufacturing, controlling, selling, or transferring a firearm. Under the current law, convictions for several serious crimes such as violence, sex crimes, and crimes against children do not disqualify a person from possessing a firearm.

Referred to Judiciary: February 1, 2019

SB 137

Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero

Requires gun owners to safely store firearms if a person who cannot legally possess a firearm lives in the owner’s residence.

Referred to Judiciary: January 31, 2019

SB 138

Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero

Requires gun owners to safely store firearms when not under direct control of the owner.

Referred to Judiciary: January 31, 2019

SB 88

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero, and Sen. Thomas H. Killion

  • Eliminates most of the exceptions to the requirement of a background check before the purchase or transfer of a firearm. The familial transfer exception to background check requirements would remain under this legislation. It would require all firearm sales, no what how long the barrel length is, to be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or county sheriff.

Referred to Judiciary: January 24, 2019

Proposed

Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero

Clarifies current law by prohibiting teachers, administrators, and other school district employees from carrying a firearm in school.