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Pennsylvania Senate Passes Dangerous Punitive Preemption Legislation; Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

January 25, 2022

The Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Senate passing a dangerous punitive preemption bill SB 448, which would expand Pennsylvania’s already restrictive preemption law to punish localities for attempting to enact common-sense public safety measures in their communities. SB 448, having previously passed the House of Representatives, will go to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk.

“After a year of record-breaking gun violence in Pennsylvania, cities and towns across our state are crying out for impactful, common sense solutions — meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are creating more harmful problems instead,” said Erin Buchner, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Punishing communities for making efforts to protect public safety will only worsen the gun violence crisis we are facing. We are thankful to Governor Wolf for his commitment to vetoing this dangerous legislation.”
What to know about punitive preemption bills in Pennsylvania:

  • SB 448 would expand and add punitive elements to an already dangerous preemption law, threatening some of Pennsylvania’s hardest hit communities with expensive lawsuits if they adopt gun safety measures that work for them — at a time when Pennsylvania cities are still seeing the impacts of the dual public health crisis of COVID and gun violence. 
  • The bill’s extreme punitive elements would harm localities, punish taxpayers, and potentially line the pockets of out-of-state gun lobby groups.

In an average year in Pennsylvania, 1,628 people die by guns and 3,058 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Pennsylvania $12.1 billion each year, of which $567.4 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Pennsylvania can be found here.

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