1,600 Pennsylvanians die from gun violence every year. 3,000 more are injured. This preventable catastrophe is uniquely American and it impacts every Pennsylvanian.
We have a gun violence problem created through policy action and inaction.
Firearm access increases gun violence
Gaps in the safety system lead to more violence throughout the Commonwealth.
There are few requirements to own a firearm in Pennsylvania. While almost every purchase requires a background check, there is no requirement to know how to use a firearm or prove you have training first. You can walk into a gun store and buy multiple firearms within minutes.
In 2020, the Pennsylvania State Police ran more than 1.4 million background checks through the PA Instant Check System (PICS)--the vast majority approved in minutes.
The result is a greater risk of gun violence: A firearm in the home increases the odds of suicide three-fold. Access to a firearm doubles the risk of homicide.
Once you own a firearm, you can carry it openly in almost every part of the Commonwealth without needing any safety training. And, it is quite easy to get a permit to carry a concealed firearm--with law enforcement taking as little as five minutes to review an applicant before they can carry a hidden weapon in public.
There is no requirement to secure your firearm in a safe or with a gun lock, increasing the risk of an unintentional shooting. Owners do not need to report if their firearm is missing or stolen, fuelling illegal firearm trafficking used in community violence.
These policy failures combined with the fact there are more guns than people in the US--393 million firearms at last count-- have contributed to a fatal situation.
Just 5% of suicide attempts are with a gun but they are so deadly it still accounts for the lives of 900 Pennsylvanians. The connection is clear.
Gun violence is part of the fabric of daily life for too many Pennsylvanians. Everyone then struggles to thrive. Here’s why.
PA schools, stores, malls and public spaces were terrorized by 34 mass shootings in 2020–one every 10 days. Weak laws make them more likely.
Women are five times more likely to be killed by an abusive partner if the abuser has access to a gun. No one should live with that threat.
Gun violence isn’t a number
Gun violence isn’t just a number. It’s the people we lose and the communities who are devastated by this ongoing crisis. Pennsylvania is terrorized by a mass shooting every 10 days on average. They happen outside transit centers and in places of worship.
This public health crisis is larger than the high-profile mass shootings that make up a majority of media coverage. Every day, 4 people die on average from gun violence in PA. And each of those is the name of someone lost and a community damaged.
Building a movement
We’re building a movement to ensure everyone can live a life free from gun violence. And it’s working.
It’s time for a Common Agenda
Harrisburg hasn’t held a single hearing on evidence-based solutions to gun violence in three years. Your voice could change that.
Take a Stand
We’ll never stop fighting for a safe, gun violence-free Pennsylvania. If you share that goal, power our efforts today.