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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 18, 2012 09:23 AM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Assault Weapons Ban
In the near future, I plan to introduce two pieces of legislation that would address the issue of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

As a legislative body, we have had the opportunity to work on important firearms legislation this past session, such as the recently-passed straw purchasing bill, House Bill 898. In an effort to continue the discussion on common-sense public safety proposals, I believe banning dangerous assault weapons for non-military and non-law enforcement agents should be addressed.

With the federal Assault Weapons Ban having expired in the fall of 2004, Pennsylvania has been left vulnerable to violence with assault weapons for the last eight years. According to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 20% of law enforcement agents killed in the line of duty in the U.S. are killed with assault weapons. Law enforcement organizations across the country supported the federal ban, including but not limited to the Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs’ Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major City Chiefs Association.

Our country has experienced so many devastating mass shootings over the past several months and years, and the U.S. has one of the highest number of gun-related murders of the world’s developed countries, totaling nearly 10,000 last year. While curbing heinous acts of violence will not be a one-sided solution, I believe we have a responsibility to ensure we explore every option so that no more innocent victims are taken.

Document #1

Introduced as SB435

Description: The first piece of legislation would enact a strict assault weapons ban in Pennsylvania modeled after the federal ban in effect from 1994 to 2004.  This would include a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Document #2

Introduced as SR103

Description: The second piece of legislation would memorialize Congress and the President of the United States to institute an assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazine ban on the federal level.