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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2016 02:35 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Thomas J. McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: Background Checks for Firearms and 48-hour Checks for Gun Shows
In the near future, we plan to reintroduce SB1049 from last session.

SB1049 was the product of continuing work on this issue with various stakeholders. This legislation eliminates all but the familial transfer exception to the requirement of a background check prior to the purchase or transfer of a firearm with a new provision to permit the issuance of a single background check approval that would remain valid for 48 hours for use at gun shows across the Commonwealth.

Currently, the Crimes Code requires firearm sales be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or county sheriff. However, this provision is only applicable to short-barreled firearms. This legislation would remove this applicability provision and require all firearm sales, regardless of the barrel length, be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or county sheriff. Ultimately, this legislation would require background checks be conducted for each firearm purchase, which will ensure that individuals attempting to obtain a firearm are authorized to possess such weapons. Familial transfers will still be excluded from the background check requirement as in current law.

Additionally, this bill would include language that allows a person to obtain a 48-hour background check approval to be used at a licensed gun show within the Commonwealth. With such an approval, a consumer could shop during that 48-hour period without having to pay for multiple background checks should he or she decide to make more than one purchase.

Please join us in protecting the residents of this Commonwealth by closing the loopholes that have permitted unauthorized individuals access to firearms, while making it easier for law abiding citizens to purchase firearms at gun shows. If you have any questions please contact Mike Deery, Chief Counsel for Senator Hughes, at 787-7112, or Mike Rader, Chief of Staff for Senator McGarrigle, at 787-1350.

Introduced as SB209