A Letter of Opposition from CeaseFirePA Executive Director, Adam Garber, to Members of the Pennsylvania Senate

December 13, 2023

Dear Senator, 

Today Senate Bill 907 (Regan), which would mandate the presence of armed security guards on school property, is scheduled to receive 3rd and Final consideration in the Senate chamber. We humbly urge you to vote NO on this bill.  The legislation ignores clear and widespread evidence, and multiple real world examples, that having armed guards in school does not result in the reduction of fatalities during the instance of a school shooting. In fact, studies have shown that the presence of armed guards in schools actually increases the number of fatalities given the fact that whenever firearms are present, there is always room for error, even when it comes to highly trained officers. Prior research also suggests that many school shooters intend to die in their own act of violence, which makes the presence of an armed guard an added incentive to carry out the act as opposed to an effective deterrent. 

While we certainly understand the intent of the prime sponsor to keep students safe, this legislation will also have unintended consequences, including creating a more intimidating and militarized learning environment for students and evidence that it diminishes academic performance. This is especially true for Black and Brown students, who studies have shown are more likely to be disproportionately disciplined than their White counterparts. It is also worth noting that Pennsylvania school districts are already legally authorized to hire armed security guards. Therefore, imposing a mandate on school districts without a specifically dedicated funding source undermines their ability to properly develop and forecast their budgetary priorities and places an undue burden on school districts that are already resource starved by requiring them to remain compliant with this proposed law. 

In summary, due to foregoing reasons CeaseFirePA, the commonwealth’s leading gun violence prevention advocacy organization, strongly urges you to vote no on Senate Bill 907. 

Should you have any questions about this or other gun violence prevention policies, I can be reached at adam.garber@ceasefirepa.org  or 267-515-1220. Our Deputy Director for Government Affairs, Brandon Flood, can also be reached at brandon@ceasefirepa.org


Adam Garber
CeaseFirePA Action Executive Director

Facing the truth about gun violence in PA