HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Reps. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, and Dom Costa, D-Allegheny, today announced their plan to introduce legislation to update the state’s definition of “offensive weapons” to include firearm modifications that assist in rapid firing, like the ones used in the Las Vegas shooting, which resulted in 59 deaths and over 500 injured. “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families in Sunday night’s shooting,” Dean said. "But I am also reminded of the words of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords: ‘The truth is, for those who have the power to act and to save lives, thoughts and prayers are not nearly enough.’ And as legislators, we do have the power and the responsibility to act. This is why we are putting forth legislation to ban weapons that have no place in civilian society -- weapons that we have seen can kill and maim hundreds in a matter of minutes.” The Pennsylvania Crimes Code currently bans “offensive weapons,” which includes items such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and grenades. Violation of this section carries a penalty of a first-degree misdemeanor. The proposed legislation would add “multiburst trigger activators” to the list of offensive weapons and includes items such as binary triggers and slide fire/bump stocks. “As a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights and a former 28-year veteran law enforcement officer and chief Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – Members of the House PA SAFE Caucus released the following statement in response to Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas: “We, the members of the PA SAFE Caucus, are deeply saddened by Sunday night’s horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the thousands of concert attendees who witnessed the atrocity. With 59 people murdered, and over 500 others injured, the effects of this tragedy ripple throughout the nation. “While details about the shooter, and the weapons used continue to become available, what we know is that the shooter was, at the time, in possession of up to 23 weapons—including some with modifications to assist in rapid-firing. “But as we learn more about the shooting, the words of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords , come to mind: ‘The truth is, for those who have the power to act and to save lives, thoughts and prayers are not nearly enough.’ “In Pennsylvania, the PA SAFE Caucus is actively working to advance measures that protect our communities from violence, including gun violence. We are eager to create an open dialogue with colleagues, advocates, and citizens on all sides of the gun rights and gun safety issue. “We are dedicated to passing meaningful legislation that promotes gun safety and keeps deadly weapons out of the hands of those who should not possess them—whether by closing background check loopholes, Read more
HARRISBURG, June 29 – The Pennsylvania Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would allow school personnel to carry firearms on school grounds and in buildings. Senate Bill 383, sponsored by state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, passed in the Senate by a vote of 28 – 22. Currently, firearms are not prohibited on school property, with the exception for lawful supervised activity or other lawful purpose. S.B. 383 would grant school boards the authority to enact policies that give approved school employees permission to access and carry firearms while at work. The bill also would exempt those school employees with permission to carry from the state’s Right to Know Law. Go. Tom Wolf, firearm safety organizations, and members of the PA SAFE Caucus—a coalition of state representatives dedicated to reducing gun violence, formed following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary—have voiced their strong opposition to the bill. “I strongly oppose this bill and will veto it,” Gov. Wolf said. “Harrisburg can help schools be safer by giving them adequate funding so schools can hire trained security professionals like school resource or police officers, and counselors and support staff for students.” “Each year in America, nearly 1,300 children die from gun violence and another 5,800 are wounded--literally caught in the crossfire,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery and co-chair of the PA Read more
“The thoughts and prayers of the PA SAFE Caucus are with the victims of yesterday's shooting in Alexandria and praise to the brave police and security who helped to avoid further tragedy. “As lawmakers, this attack is felt particularly keenly among us. Unfortunately, acts of gun violence like this are felt too often throughout the country, in communities, in families and in homes. “As a group dedicated to combatting violence, especially gun violence, we are also dedicated to working against the hate that often motivates heinous attacks on people of any belief, race or creed. “May those injured yesterday recover quickly so that they may return to their families and friends to heal from this traumatic experience.” Read more
HARRISBURG, April 25 – Members of the House PA SAFE Caucus today expressed opposition to firearm pre-emption legislation that would make it easier for gun groups such as the NRA to sue Pennsylvania municipalities at taxpayers’ expense. House Bill 671 would permit individuals to sue municipalities they feel have “adversely affected” their firearm rights. The bill would put municipalities on the hook for legal expenses if the individual is successful, but would not require those taking legal action to cover expenses if the municipality prevails. The bill would also extend to outside organizations those individuals are members of, meaning organizations like the NRA could file suits. “This legislation would dangerously inflate Pennsylvania’s firearm pre-emption laws, giving extraordinary power to groups that could file frivolous lawsuits for their own gain. And our taxpayers would be the ones stuck with the bill, no matter the outcome,” said state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery , who co-chairs the PA SAFE Caucus. “We shouldn’t open our municipalities up to this kind of threat, nor should we take control from municipalities to provide for the safety of their residents.” Members of the SAFE Caucus said there are better ways for the legislature to be looking at the issue of firearms. “Instead of going out of our way to make it easier for the gun lobbyists to sue local municipalities that seek to Read more
HARRISBURG, March 22 – Lawmakers and advocates held a news conference today announcing the re-formation and legislative priorities of the PA SAFE Caucus, which aims to bring attention to state firearm and public-safety legislation, said the group’s co-chairs, state Reps. Madeleine Dean and Dan Frankel. Members of the caucus discussed how the issue of gun safety is gaining traction across political lines and outlined their support for legislation needed in the commonwealth, including for universal background checks, limits on magazine capacity and requirements to report lost or stolen guns. “Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support sensible gun-safety legislation,” said Dean, D-Montgomery. “The members of PA SAFE know this, and in no way are we proposing measures that infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners. We simply want to protect our constituents, and if our measures can save even just one person, I feel that we have a duty to make it law.” “As a vice chair of the PA SAFE Caucus, I’m proud to be part of this group that is working together on commonsense gun safety legislation,” said state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware. “This session, I’m hoping we’ll be able to move forward on issues that have strong bipartisan support, such as the universal background check bill (known as H.B. 1010 last session), and that we’ll actually see a vote in committee and on the House floor.” Read more
HARRISBURG, March 21 – Members of PA SAFE will hold a news conference announcing its re-formation and priorities at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 22 in the Capitol Media Center . Members of PA SAFE are legislators and advocates committed to reducing all types of violence in society through adequate funding for mental health services, best use of new and existing law-enforcement tools, resources to curb effects of addiction and illegal drugs, and solutions that reduce gun violence and promote public safety. Slated to speak are: PA SAFE Chairwoman Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery PA SAFE Co-Chairman Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila. Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila. CeaseFire PA Executive Director Shira Goodman. The news conference also will be streamed live at www.PaHouse.com/Live . Members of the media may also listen to the news conference by calling 717-787-9903 through 9910. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 - The following letter from members of the PA SAFE Caucus was sent today to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, urging him to veto a bill that would make it easier for gun groups such as the NRA to sue Pennsylvania’s municipalities, potentially threatening their budgets and placing taxpayers on the hook, should it pass the General Assembly. A copy of the letter with signatures can be viewed here . October 18, 2016 Dear Governor Wolf: This week, the Senate passed Senator Alloway’s firearm pre-emption legislation, SB 1330, by a vote of 30-19. Similar legislation passed last session and was signed into law by your predecessor. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court later repealed this legislation because it was passed unconstitutionally. SB 1330 would dangerously inflate Pennsylvania’s firearm pre-emption laws by allowing individuals and outside organizations to sue municipalities they feel have “adversely effected” their firearm rights. If the suit is successful, the municipality would be liable not only for damages and injunctive relief, but also for "reasonable expenses," including attorney fees, expert witness fees, court costs, and compensation for loss of income. This extraordinary right also extends to outside organizations, such as the NRA, that get involved in local suits. This is unheard of in pre-emption law and grants outside organizations, who would otherwise not have standing, unprecedented Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 22 – PA SAFE Caucus Chair Rep. Madeleine Dean announced today that the PA SAFE Caucus is co-host to a public event to help end gun violence from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at The National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East. The event will feature former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. The nonpartisan event is not affiliated with the Democratic National Convention. Everytown for Gun Safety, American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, PA SAFE Caucus, CeaseFirePA and Americans for Responsible Solutions are hosting the event. “Gun violence tragically affects our whole nation,” said Dean, D-Montgomery. “Every day in America, 91 people die of gun violence and another 200 are injured, caught in the crossfire. For this reason, I am pleased to be part of this event, where we have the opportunity to bring people together from across the country and work toward dramatically reducing these numbers and building safer communities.” “CeaseFire PA is proud to stand with Pennsylvania and national leaders to honor all those working for commonsense gun policies,” said Shira Goodman of CeaseFire PA. “Together, we are raising up the voices of the people to be heard and heeded in the halls of power.” Media coverage is invited. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 28 – Members of the House PA SAFE Caucus, a group of Pennsylvania legislators working together to reduce all types of violence, today expressed support for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday to uphold a lower court’s ruling prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing guns. State Reps. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, and Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairmen of the PA SAFE Caucus, said that the ruling reflects the will of a growing majority of Americans who believe there should be commonsense limitations on criminals’ ability to own or purchase guns. “If you abuse your spouse or children, you should not have easy access to a gun,” Dean said. “It is a fact that the presence of a gun alone is far too dangerous of a variable in volatile domestic relationships involving a convicted abuser. “In 2015, 113 victims of domestic violence were killed in Pennsylvania alone. That is 113 too many. The Supreme Court’s decision will undoubtedly save lives.” According to the American Journal of Public Health, access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide more than five times more than in instances where there are no weapons. The court ruling also gives hope to legislators who sponsor bills that deal with the dangerous interplay among menace, violence and gun ownership. Pennsylvania’s H.B. 1030, for instance, would give family Read more
Sunday morning we awoke to the chilling news: that a young American man heavily armed with hate, a handgun and an AR—15 went to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and shot more than 100 people – killing 49 of them. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Madeleine Dean, co-chairwoman of the PA SAFE Caucus, says gun violence has become a public health issue affecting all communities during a Rally in Philadelphia June 3, 2016. She says the alarming number of gunshot victims each year, especially among children, calls for more work to be done to help curb gun violence throughout Pennsylvania. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Ed Gainey stood with gun-safety advocates and victims of gun violence to rally behind a plan to enact universal background checks for gun purchases in Pennsylvania. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Mary Jo Daley says it's time for common sense background checks for firearms purchases to keep guns out of the hands of people living with mental illness or criminals as well as a 48-hour check and waiting period for guns purchased at gun shows. The House Democratic Policy Committee heard from law enforcement and firearms experts about House Bill 1010 that would create these standards in use in other states. Read more
Pa state Rep. Dan Frankel says expert testimony about House Bill 1010 in front of the House Democratic Policy Committee today shows guns purchased at gun shows shouldn't be treated any differently than guns purchased from brick-and-mortar retailers, and background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people living with mental illness or criminals needs to happen. Read more
Pa state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky hosted House Democratic Policy Committee today on House Bill 1010. Expert testimony showed guns purchased at gun shows shouldn't be treated any differently than guns purchased from brick-and-mortar retailers, and universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people living with mental illness or criminals needs to happen. Read more
STRATH HAVEN, May 9 – Joined by the House Democratic Policy Committee and Republican legislators, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, hosted the first legislative hearing on H.B. 1010 , which would enact commonsense firearm reforms. “Today we heard from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Upper Darby Police Department, victims of gun violence and national advocates, and the overwhelming theme that was repeated is that Pennsylvania needs the commonsense gun safety reforms House Bill 1010 would give us,” Krueger-Braneky said. “As legislators, we must not be paralyzed with the fear of what the NRA will say if we support his legislation. Our constituents support it and that should take priority over anything else.” Krueger-Braneky is a co-sponsor of H.B. 1010, which would require all purchasers of firearms – including the private sale of long guns – to first undergo a background check. It would also permit the issuance of a single background check approval that would remain valid for 48 hours for use at gun shows across Pennsylvania. "I commend Representative Krueger-Braneky for requesting this necessary hearing to bring attention to House Bill 1010," said Rep. Mike Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. "This is a major milestone in both community safety and convenience for those looking to lawfully purchase guns. I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this commonsense legislation and Read more
Noting the increased support for commonsense gun safety legislation, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, will co-chair a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on H.B. 1010, at 2 p.m. Monday, May 9 at Strath Haven High School, 205 South Providence Road, Wallingford, PA 19086. Read more
Members of PA SAFE, a group of state lawmakers and firearm-safety advocates, held a news conference today announcing their mission and outlining legislation they support to help protect Pennsylvanians from the increasing threat of gun violence.
Members of PA SAFE said that they are committed to reducing all types of violence in society through adequate funding for mental health services, best use of new and existing law-enforcement tools, resources to curb effects of addiction and illegal drugs, and solutions that reduce gun violence and promote public safety.
Pa. state Rep. Ed Gainey joined members of PA SAFE, a group of state lawmakers and firearm-safety advocates, to announce their mission and outline legislation they support to help protect Pennsylvanians from the increasing threat of gun violence. Read more
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