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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: August 26, 2021 05:07 PM
From: Senator Katie J. Muth and Sen. Carolyn T. Comitta, Sen. Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Firearms Safety Training
We will soon reintroduce legislation to ensure that an individual receives proper training prior to purchasing or receiving their first firearm. Our legislation would require that first time firearm owners receive training in areas of safe handling and storage of firearms, suicide awareness, child access awareness, domestic violence awareness, road rage awareness and prevention and safe interaction with law enforcement while carrying a firearm.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention:
  • 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns. Most parents don’t think their child knows where their gun is stored, but when researchers ask children directly, 40% of these same children are able to correctly identify the location of the gun. Parents also often incorrectly believe their child has never handled their gun, when in reality, 36% of children say they have.
  • Domestic violence is more likely to turn deadly with a gun in the home. An abusive partner’s access to a firearm increases the risk of homicide eight-fold for women in physically abusive relationships.
  • More than 80 percent of guns used for teen suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
We have already seen dramatic results from mandatory training courses.  A hunting training course has been available in Pennsylvania since 1959; in 1982 it became mandatory for hunters to take the course prior to getting a license for the first time.  As a result, there was about an 87 percent reduction in unintentional shootings in the hunt field between 1982 and 2015.  We hope to achieve similar outcomes with this legislation.  Having good information and training for the proper handling and storage of firearms keeps firearm owners, their families, and others, safe.  
We hope you will join us in co-sponsorship and continue to encourage responsible gun ownership in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as SB855