Cruz’s mental health legislation to combat gun violence moves forward

HARRISBURG, June 20 – State Rep. Angel Cruz’s latest effort to curb gun violence is moving forward, after his mental health legislation was voted out of committee today and now heads to the full House for consideration.      

“Senseless killings are constantly happening in our streets and taking the lives of those we love most,” said Cruz, D-Phila. “Closing mental health loopholes is one tool, among many others I’m proposing, to help us ensure that guns do not get into the wrong hands.”

Cruz, Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, said his bills (H.B. 2266 & 2267) would update procedures to require officers and judges to report mental health notifications to the Pennsylvania State Police within 72 hours instead of the current seven days of adjudication, treatment or involuntary commitment.

Once the information is received, PSP would be required to submit it to the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS).

“Cutting this timetable is critical in making sure that our background checks systems for gun purchases have the most up to date information,” Cruz explained. “Lives are at stake and my legislation would strengthen our laws to better protect our communities.”  

These bills join a number of others he’s authored to prevent senseless gun violence across the commonwealth, including:

  • H.B. 1771 – would establish a statewide gun buyback program;

  • H.B. 657 – would require yearly background checks for people who would like to rent a firearm at an authorized shooting range;

  • H.B. 610 – would require all firearms in Pennsylvania be registered with PSP; and

  • H.B. 680 – would create a new firearm eligibility license.