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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2017 04:07 PM
From: Representative Mary Jo Daley and Rep. Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Firearms at Polling Places
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to prohibit individuals from bringing firearms into polling places.

Last year’s election was undoubtedly one of the most divisive in recent history. In fact, due to how contentious election day was gearing up to be, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued a memo to county election offices which listed the “ostentatious showing of weapons” as a form of voter intimidation or discriminatory conduct.

Unfortunately, our state laws do not reflect the concern of the Department of State, and can even be interpreted as counterproductive to voter safety. While voters can bring a handgun or rifle along to vote, law enforcement officers must stay at least 100 feet from the polling booth.
However, if the polling place is located in an otherwise prohibited place, such as an elementary school or a courthouse, then firearms are prohibited. We believe it is time to extend that prohibition to all areas of a polling place holding an election.

Specifically, our legislation would make it a misdemeanor of the third degree for knowingly possessing a firearm in a polling place, and a misdemeanor of the first degree for using the firearm at a polling place in a commission of a crime. Notice of the firearm prohibition would be required to be placed at each public entrance.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB2711