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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 6, 2023 03:27 PM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey and Rep. Christina D. Sappey, Rep. Darisha K. Parker
To: All House members
Subject: Firearm Safety Certificate
In Pennsylvania, 1,600 people die by gun violence ever year. In 2021 in Philadelphia alone, there were 486 deaths related to gun violence, which is a 23 percent increase from gun-related deaths in 2020. Additionally, from 2009 to 2018, the overall gun death rate in Pennsylvania has increased 20 percent, part of which can be contributed to the lack of safety training regarding firearms.  
For this reason, we will be introducing legislation that would require any individual who would like to purchase a firearm to first receive safety training from an instructor who has been certified by the Pennsylvania State Police. Purchasers would then be required to take a written objective test covering firearm laws and safety. If an individual passes the test, a purchaser would be provided a firearm safety certificate which would be valid for five years. If an individual fails to pass the test, he or she may retake the test 24 hours after receiving additional firearm training from the instructor. It is important to note that law enforcement officials would be exempt from these requirements. 
As legislators, it is important that we ensure firearm owners understand how to safely store and handle weapons, as well as the fundamental legal aspects of firearm possession, carry and use, self-defense, and the use of deadly force. By requiring firearm safety certificates prior to purchasing firearms, safe and responsible firearm ownership will be promoted in Pennsylvania and will thereby limit the number of unintentional injuries and deaths that result from the unsafe storage and handling of firearms. Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation that would make Pennsylvania a safer place for everyone. 

Introduced as HB1250