Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed HB 1747, a dangerous bill that would repeal the ban of open carry by persons without a carry permit during a state of emergency. It would also prevent the governor from restricting or limiting the sale, dispensing or transportation of firearms. On the same day, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 459, which would create record keeping and reporting requirements regarding the use of force by law enforcement officers.
“If lawmakers want to keep us safe from gun violence, the last thing they should be doing is advancing a reckless bill that upends public safety laws in the middle of a crisis,” said Erin Buchner, a volunteer with Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action. “Instead, lawmakers should advance legislation that increases transparency about violence by police in Pennsylvania, and could prevent future suffering.”
OPEN CARRY DURING COVID-19
- A visible gun has been found to make people more aggressive; therefore open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts.
- Repealing regulation of open carry would put Pennsylvnian’s at risk, and give gun rights extremists an avenue to mount intimidation campaign, as seen in states like Kentucky and Ohio during the past few months.
POLICING IN PENNSYLVANIA
- According to Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans.
- In Pennsylvania, 171 people were killed by police in Pennsylvania between 2013 and 2019 — and 96 percent of those people died by police gunfire.
- A third of the people shot and killed by police in Pennsylvania between 2013 and 2019 were Black.
- Pennsylvania is one of the top 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates in 2017, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center.
If you’re interested in speaking with Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action volunteers about any of these bills moving in the legislature right now, please don’t hesitate to reach out.