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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 9, 2019 04:09 PM
From: Representative Christina D. Sappey
To: All House members
Subject: Banning Deadly Firearm Accessories
In the wake of two more mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, we must ask ourselves how we can prevent future tragedies. In addition to the ease of acquiring the weapons themselves, firearm accessories that can increase casualties are not adequately regulated. On May 31, 2019, a man killed 12 people in Virginia Beach using a handgun equipped with a silencer. Silencers make it more difficult for victims and law enforcement to respond to shootings because they make the gunshots less alarming and even hide muzzle flashes.

Eight states have already banned the possession of silencers, including our neighbors in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. The Commonwealth needs to follow the lead of our neighboring states on this issue by banning silencers and other deadly firearm accessories, while exempting law enforcement. The only intended use of these accessories is to make a typical firearm exponentially more lethal.

I believe we can responsibly regulate these dangerous, unnecessary accessories without infringing upon our right to bear arms. Pennsylvania has already lost too many victims to mass shootings, and this legislation could help save lives. I understand that we will not stop every act of violence, but we can stop some, and it is absolutely imperative that we move the needle now.