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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2013 04:33 PM
From: Representative Ronald G. Waters
To: All House members
Subject: Neighborhood Watch Groups
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation – former House Bill 2694 – that will amend Titles 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and 44 (Law and Justice) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to require neighborhood watch groups to register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Currently, neighborhood watch groups are not required to undergo any type of training by professional law enforcement officers. In addition, members are permitted to carry firearms without receiving firearm training and without having firearm liability insurance.

My legislation would require all neighborhood watch group members to attend public safety training provided by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). A member may only carry a licensed firearm while on patrol if, by a majority vote, the members of the group permit the member to do so, and the member has undergone firearm training provided by the PSP. Moreover, members of neighborhood watch groups will only be subject to the current anti-drug and neighborhood watch volunteer civil immunity if their watch group is registered with the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Furthermore, if a neighborhood watch group permits members to carry firearms, the group must then purchase a firearm liability insurance policy covering all firearms that are licensed under each member’s name. The policy’s annual premium must be paid in full and equally distributed among each member of the group, and must be in the amount of at least $1,000,000.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Germaine Brown in my Harrisburg office via email at gbrown@pahouse.net or at 717-772-6955.

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Introduced as HB522