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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2022 01:39 PM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Firearms in Court Buildings
Tense, emotional, and sometimes dangerous – these words all describe court waiting rooms, where defendants, victims, and witnesses share a common area.  When firearms and other weapons are added to the mix, these rooms can turn deadly.  In 2018, a man who was scheduled to appear for a hearing in a domestic violence case entered a Pennsylvania court lobby and shot four individuals.  With over 30 other individuals waiting for their cases to be heard in that same area, many more could have been killed.
Currently, weapons can be kept in court waiting rooms so long as they are placed in a safe locker before entrance into the courtroom.  However, many courts do not have the space or security to keep such lockers in a space away from the waiting area.  My bill would close the loophole by prohibiting firearms or other dangerous weapons from being brought into or kept in any court waiting area.  In addition, it adds court lobbies to the definition of what a court facility is.
This simple, commonsense firearm legislation is the least that we, as elected officials, can do to protect our constituents and their families from more senseless firearm injuries.  Please join me in closing this dangerous loophole and keeping our courts a safe, secure place.

Introduced as HB912