Lawmakers have the opportunity to pass life-saving Extreme Risk legislation in the new year as the second term of Pennsylvania’s legislative session begins on Tuesday. They should also reject punitive preemption legislation that would undermine local officials and law enforcement officers who want to enact and enforce common-sense gun violence prevention laws.
Here’s what to know on each policy:
Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation
- Extreme Risk laws have been proven to save lives. This legislation would empower loved ones or law enforcement to intervene in order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms. Nationally, 85 percent of respondents in a recent study favored Congressional lawmakers passing an Extreme Risk law, as well as 78 percent of gun owners.
- Since last session, several outlets including LancasterOnline, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Patriot-News have editorialized in favor of Extreme Risk legislation. Volunteers with the Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action and survivors of gun violence plan to support the life-saving legislation again this session.
- Currently, 17 states and DC have passed extreme risk laws, also known as red flag laws, including the neighboring states of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.
Punitive Preemption Legislation
- The bill would add a punitive element to Pennsylvania’s current preemption law, allowing individuals and out-of-state gun lobby groups to sue local agencies or elected officials for enforcing local gun laws, or simply having them on the books. Governor Wolf has publicly stated he will veto the legislation if passed.
- Punitive preemption legislation would allow Pennsylvania legislators to undermine local officials and law enforcement officers who want to fight the gun violence epidemic in their communities by enacting and enforcing common sense gun violence prevention laws.
- In October, more than a dozen Pennsylvanian mayors signed a letter calling on lawmakers in the House of Representatives to reject the punitive preemption legislation, which would be a step backwards and put lives at risk.
Gun violence is a life and death issue for Pennsylvanians. From 2013 to 2017, 83 percent of intimate partner gun homicide victims in Pennsylvania were women, and Black women are 1.4 times more likely as white women to be fatally shot by a partner. In Pennsylvania, the majority of all gun deaths are suicides. There is an average of 9 hours between gun suicide deaths. Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action will continue to advocate for common-sense gun safety legislation throughout the session.
If you have any questions about this legislation or would like to speak with a volunteer with the Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action chapter on 2020 legislative priorities, please do not hesitate to reach out.