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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 5, 2017 01:09 PM
From: Representative Marty Flynn
To: All House members
Subject: Employee Gun Lockers in State Prisons
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation requiring the Department of Corrections (DOC) to provide secure gun lockers for the storage of firearms belonging to corrections officers at all State Correctional Institutions (SCIs).

Many of us are familiar with the tragic story of Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati, a corrections officer who was gunned down by a carful of men on his way home from a shift at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. This vicious attack was not a random act of violence, but a premeditated assassination plotted by inmates under Lt. Albarati’s supervision. Lt. Albarati was unarmed at the time of the attack. As a federal corrections officer, he was not permitted to carry a personal firearm to his place of work because the federal Bureau of Prisons prohibits the carrying and storage of personal firearms at correctional facilities.

Hopefully, that is about to change. Just this past April, the Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati Correctional Officer Self-Protection Act of 2017 (HR 613) was passed out of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. The Act would allow federal corrections officers to carry firearms to work, and require the Bureau of Prisons to provide secure storage areas for the employees to store their firearms. The bill has forty-two cosponsors and has been endorsed by the American Federation of Government Employees and the Fraternal Order of Police, among others.

My legislation aims to provide the same protection to our hardworking and dedicated corrections officers in Pennsylvania. Currently, corrections officers are prohibited from carrying personal firearms onto SCI grounds. This leaves them defenseless and exposed to danger between the SCI and their home. My legislation would eliminate this prohibition and require the DOC to provide a secure storage area for the officers’ personal firearms.

I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this vitally important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1935