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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 5, 2017 02:37 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Gun Buyback Program
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to establish a statewide gun buyback program.

Gun buyback programs have been administered across the country in our communities for decades. The concept is simple: a person trades an unwanted gun for an incentive – cash or gift certificate – at an event hosted by officials. Once collected, the weapons are checked as to whether they were stolen and some localities check whether any were used in a crime and most often they are destroyed.

My legislation would establish a statewide gun buyback program within the Office of Attorney General. The Attorney General would be required to administer the program in conjunction with the state police and local law enforcement, although participation in the program would be voluntary for local officials. Anyone surrendering a firearm is able to do so anonymously and without prosecution. Regulations issued by the Attorney General’s office are to provide guidelines for local officials and communities in administering the program and authorizing local gun buyback programs.

By creating a statewide gun buyback program, Pennsylvania is taking a step in reducing the increasingly high rates of firearm related deaths, removing guns that could potentially be stolen and raising public awareness about the dangers from the improper use of guns. Other states, including New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Louisiana and Delaware have recognized the value of implementing a statewide buyback program and introduced similar legislation.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation. If just one weapon surrendered saves one life, then my legislation establishing a statewide program is a good thing. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

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Introduced as HB1771