Briggs working to end gun violence on first anniversary of Parkland shooting

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today that he is introducing gun safety legislation in the state legislature as the nation marks the first anniversary of the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed and another 17 were injured.


“Keeping our communities safe from gun violence must be a top priority for Pennsylvania and the nation,” Briggs said. “I can think of no better way to honor the victims of Parkland, and the many other victims of gun violence throughout our country, than by enacting meaningful gun safety reforms to prevent future tragedies.”


Briggs added that gun violence in the United States takes many forms, including accidental shootings and suicides by firearms that have impacted thousands of children and families.


“Too often acts of gun violence could have been prevented with a few simple precautions,” Briggs said. “That’s why I am introducing commonsense legislation that will help put an end to gun violence by keeping guns out of the hands of Pennsylvania’s children. Those who fail to safely store their firearms are putting young lives at risk and should face consequences for their recklessness.”


If passed, Briggs’ H.B. 525 would require the safe storage of firearms in homes where children may be present. Failure to comply with this rule would result in a third-degree felony if it is used in a crime or if death or grievous injury is caused, or a summary offense (third-degree misdemeanor if a second or subsequent offense) if a child is simply found in unlawful possession of a firearm.


“I am asking my colleagues in the legislature to join me in this effort to save lives, protect children, and ensure that firearms are only used by their rightful owners,” Briggs said. “Last year we saw that it is possible to pass laws that increase gun safety in Pennsylvania with Act 79. As the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I will continue pushing for gun safety legislation like my proposal that put the safety of our communities first.”