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 in response to lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Senate passing two dangerous bills during a late night session, SB 448 and SB 565, that would further weaken the state’s gun laws. SB 448 would expand Pennsylvania’s already restrictive preemption law to punish localities for attempting to enact common-sense public safety measures in their communities, while SB 565 is a permitless carry bill which would allow carry of concealed loaded handguns in public places without a permit. SB 448, having previously passed the House of Representatives, will go to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk.
“Lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Senate made a rushed decision under the cover of darkness, and that decision was to harm Pennsylvanians and worsen the gun violence crisis in our state,” said Erin Buchner, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These measures would set us back in our fight to end gun violence — permitless carry has been proven to increase gun violence in other states and Pennsylvania should not join them. We are disheartened by lawmakers’ support of such irresponsible and reckless policies at such a critical moment in the fight for gun safety.”
What to know about permitless carry in Pennsylvania:
- Permitless carry would take away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who should not be able to carry a loaded weapon in public.
- States that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rates and a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates.
What to know about punitive preemption bills in Pennsylvania:
- SB 565 would expand and add punitive elements to an already dangerous preemption law, further restricting some of Pennsylvania’s hardest hit communities from adopting gun safety measures that work for them — at a time when Pennsylvania cities are still seeing the impacts of the dual public health crisis of COVID and gun violence.
- The bill’s extreme punitive elements would harm localities, punish taxpayers, and potentially line the pockets of out-of-state gun lobby groups
More information on gun violence in Pennsylvania can be found here.