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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2016 10:09 AM
From: Representative Kate Harper
To: All House members
Subject: Making False Compartment with Intent to Commit a Criminal Offense
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation which creates a new provision entitled Unlawful False or Secret Compartment in Title 18 (Crimes Code) for those who possess a vehicle with an unlawful false or secret compartment with the intent to use it to commit a criminal offense.

The growing opioid health crisis continues to be a huge burden on the citizens of Pennsylvania. Our state serves as a major through fare for drug traffickers who cross our state with their illegal cargo secreted within the vehicle for sale. Law enforcement officials, one of which suggested this legislation to me know that if we could stop the use of these vehicles with the hidden compartments we could stop some of the addicting drugs that are damaging our families across the commonwealth.

To ensure that this bill only affects those who possess a vehicle with a false or secret compartment with the intent to use that compartment criminally, the bill includes language explicitly exempting any compartment used or possessed solely for purpose of securing valuables, electronics, firearms or other personal property that is lawfully possessed. In other words, this legislation does NOT criminalize secret compartments, only those used with intent to be used criminally.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB287