CeaseFirePA is pleased to announce potentially big news brewing here in Pennsylvania. Tomorrow (June 19), for the first time in many years, our state House Judiciary Committee may be voting on as many as nine firearms-related bills; also uniquely (as of June 18), we believe that at least six, if not seven, of these bills would save lives and considerably improve the lives of Pennsylvanians.
We unreservedly support HB 1400, HB 2060, HB 1872, HB 273, HB 2266, and HB 2267, and urge you to call your state representative immediately to encourage him or her to vote for these bills in committee and on the House floor, should these bills pass out of committee. HB 1400 would close the loophole in Pennsylvania law that currently allows buyers to purchase long guns—guns that can range from an antique musket to (much more frequently) an AR-15 military-styled rifle—without undergoing a background check; background checks on every gun sold in Pennsylvania are long overdue. HB 2060 is the House version of SB 501, the bill that closes dangerous loopholes in Protection from Abuse and other domestic violence laws that passed the state Senate earlier this year. HB 1872 would ban bump-stocks—like those used tragically in last October’s Las Vegas shooting–and any other trigger-enhancing devices that can easily allow criminals to convert otherwise legal semi-automatic weapons into unlawful fully-automatic weapons. HB 273 would allow Pennsylvania citizens to, completely on their own accord, place themselves on a list prohibiting them from owning firearms. And HB 2266 and HB 2267 would both considerably aid in the sharing of vital mental health and substance-abuse-related information between our courts and state law enforcement.
We support HB 2227, our legislature’s “red flag” law, in either its current form, or with amendments A07721 or AO7718 attached; HB 2227 would save countless lives by—at long last—providing family members with a legal path to successfully (and temporarily) remove firearms from an armed fellow family member in crisis, through the issuance of a temporary (and then final) Extreme Risk Protection Order. Seeing as the NRA has just changed its position from neutral to “opposed,” we are supporting it, but proceeding with caution.
We remain neutral on HB 2275, which would expand the list of crimes that preclude firearms ownership to include associated criminal conspiracy crimes.
And lastly, we have concerns about HB 2463, which could potentially weaken restrictions that keep firearms out of the hands of those who have been adjudicated to be threats to themselves or others, but will be watching what happens with the other votes tomorrow and with the amendment process before taking a formal position on it.
We at CeaseFirePA will keep you posted regarding future actions and the legislature’s progress following the Judiciary Committee’s meeting tomorrow. As always, thank you for your support.