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Following Advocacy by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, Pennsylvania House Passes Life-Saving Red Flag Law and Strengthens Background Checks


The House Failed To Pass Legislation that Would Require A Person to Report a Lost or Stolen Firearm and a Bill Requiring Secure Storage of Firearms Is Pending A Vote

Harrisburg, Penn— The Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the Pennsylvania House for taking an important step forward on gun safety by passing HB 1018 — which establishes an Extreme Risk law sometimes known as “Red Flag” law; and HB 714 — which expands background checks. Unfortunately, the House failed to pass legislation that would require a person to report a lost or stolen firearm. Earlier this morning, Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, Rep. Dan Frankel, Rep. Arvind Venkat, Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, and other gun safety champions rallied on the capitol steps calling on House lawmakers to pass gun safety bills. The House still needs to vote on HB 731 — which would require all firearms to be securely stored. HB 1018  and HB 714 are scheduled to go to the Senate prior to going to Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk. 

“We applaud the House for taking an important step forward by passing life-saving gun safety bills that will keep our homes and schools safe from gun violence and we hope that the Senate follows their lead,” said Hadley Haas,  a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “But the job is not done — gun violence is the leading cause of death amongst children and we need our House lawmakers to step up and meet the moment by passing the secure storage bill that is on the docket.” 

Below are the gun safety bills that were scheduled for a vote in the Pennsylvania House today: 

  • HB 1018 (PASSED) — This bill would establish an Extreme Risk law sometimes known as “Red Flag” law that would create a process through an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) allowing law enforcement, family, or household members to petition a court to temporarily restrict access to firearms by a person at risk of harming themselves or others. ERPOs can help put time and space between a person in crisis and firearms and are a proven way to prevent gun violence.
  • HB 714 (PASSED) —  This bill would expand the Commonwealth’s background check requirement to cover private sales of all firearms. Ninety three percent of voters in the U.S., 89% of Republicans, and 89% of gun owners support requiring background checks on all gun sales, and there’s a good reason why: background checks save lives. Each year on just one website, 1.2 million online ads offering firearms for sale are listed that would not legally require a background check to be completed. And nearly 1 in 9 prospective buyers who respond to ads from unlicensed sellers on that website would not pass a background check.
  • HB 731 (PENDING VOTE) — This bill would require a firearm to be stored securely any time it is not in use. Gun owners can make their homes and communities safer by storing their guns securely – locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. Securing firearms protects children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides, and can also prevent gun violence at schools by reducing school-age children’s access to guns.
  • HB 338 (FAILED TO PASSED) – This bill would require a person to report a lost or stolen firearm. Gun thefts occur in staggering numbers and often divert guns into an underground market where people with dangerous histories are able to easily obtain firearms. Requiring that lost and stolen guns be reported to law enforcement deters illegal gun trafficking. One study found that lost and stolen reporting laws reduced traced illegal gun movement by 46 percent compared to states that do not have such a law.

Last Tuesday, Pennsylvania held a special election and gun sense candidate Heather Boyd won her election maintaining a gun sense majority in the House. Everytown Victory Fund made a $45,000 contribution to the independent expenditure effort to help elect Representative Boyd —  a significant contribution for a state House race, in addition to activating its grassroots networks to help turn out the vote. 

In an average year in Pennsylvania, 1,713 people die by guns, and 1,992 more are wounded by guns. Gun violence costs Pennsylvania $21.7 billion each year, of which $470.7 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Pennsylvania is available here.  

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.