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Pennsylvania House Passes Bill to Prohibit Ghost Guns; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond 

March 27, 2024

If Enacted, Pennsylvania Would Be Added to Growing List of States Taking Action to Regulate These Untraceable, Unserialized Weapons 

HARRISBURG, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements applauding the Pennsylvania House for passing a lifesaving bill (HB 777) to prohibit ghost guns, which are do-it-yourself, homemade guns that are becoming the go-to weapon of choice for criminals. Ghost guns are unserialized, untraceable, and all their core components can be acquired without a background check, making it more difficult for law enforcement to solve crimes used with these firearms. This bill will now go to be debated in the Pennsylvania Senate. 

“Just two weeks after our lawmakers gaveled into session, our gun sense champions in the House are hard at work to keep our communities safe from gun violence,” said Jessica Haines, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We can all agree that nobody should have access to an unregulated, do-it-yourself firearm if they would be otherwise unable to pass a background check. These dangerous ghost guns have become one of the biggest threats to our public safety and we’re grateful to our gun sense champions in the House for recognizing this and taking swift action to pass this bill. Now we hope that the Senate will join them so this bill can move another step closer to becoming law.” 

“Nobody should have access to a firearm if they couldn’t pass a background check,it’s just common sense,” said Larren Wells, a volunteer leader with the University of Pittsburgh Students Demand Action chapter. “My generation has grown up with firearm technology evolving to become even deadlier or to allow criminals to skirt the law, and ghost guns are one of the most dangerous. Today, we’re glad our lawmakers took a major step to keep them off our streets.” 

Pennsylvania currently has no laws regulating ghost guns, which are impossible to trace, and law enforcement officers have been recovering increasing numbers of homemade, unserialized guns across the country. In fact, a ghost gun is believed to have been used in the recent shooting of three in Levittown, Pennsylvania. 

HB 777 is one of several gun safety bills that lawmakers in Pennsylvania have the opportunity to enact this legislative session to keep our communities safe. Last fall, lawmakers adjourned after the House passed two critical pieces of gun violence legislation including an Extreme Risk law and expanded background check requirement to cover sales of all firearms by unlicensed sellers, which have yet to be introduced in the Senate. Lawmakers in the House also have yet to vote on a bill to require a firearm to be stored securely any time it is not in use. Earlier this year, Governor Josh Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Davis also announced $100 million in funding to support gun violence prevention in the Commonwealth. 

In an average year, 1,713 people die by guns in Pennsylvania and another 1,992 are wounded. Gun violence costs Pennsylvania $21.7 billion each year, of which $470.7 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence Pennsylvania is available here.

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