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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2021 02:22 PM
From: Representative Mary Jo Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Firearms at Polling Places
Prior to the 2016 presidential election, 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 could even be interpreted as counterproductive to voter safety.
Currently, although voters can bring a handgun or rifle along to vote, law enforcement officers are required to stay at least 100 feet from the polling booth. Firearms are only prohibited in polling places if the location otherwise prohibits guns such as at schools or courthouses. I believe it is time to extend this prohibition to all polling places.
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that 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.
Guns have no place in a voting booth. Nobody should feel uncomfortable or intimidated during the electoral process. Please join me in protecting our democracy and our voters from intimidation.

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Introduced as HB737