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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 22, 2016 03:10 PM
From: Representative Tonyelle Cook-Artis
To: All House members
Subject: Rep. Cook-Artis Co-Sponsor Memo - Firearms Eligibility License
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to create a new firearm eligibility license. The application for the license would be similar to that for a concealed carry permit - on a prescribed form set by the Pennsylvania State Police, to the county sheriff or the chief of police in Philadelphia. My legislation is similar to Senator Haywood’s SB 1029.

The goal of my legislation is not to unduly burden responsible gun owners. The goal is to put in place the same kind of licensing procedure required to operate a motor vehicle. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence reports that strong majorities of American gun owners support going through law enforcement to receive a permit. Furthermore, according to the Johns Hopkins Center on Gun Policy and Research, states with handgun purchaser licensing laws have lower firearms-related death rates than states without licensing laws. When Missouri repealed its licensing law in 2007, firearms-related homicide rates in the state increased rapidly, while remaining stable in neighboring states and nationally.

To qualify for a firearm license under my bill, an applicant would need to be 21 or older, live in Pennsylvania, complete a firearms safety course within the last three years, and not be prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Current and former law enforcement, military and corrections officers would be exempt from the training course requirements. Any applicant who is denied a license could petition a court for review.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this measure to keep Pennsylvanians safe, and to do our best as state legislators to put an end to gun violence. Thank you.

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Introduced as HB2280