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PRINTER'S NO. 1732
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1416
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MARSHALL, BERNSTINE, DUNBAR, JAMES, M. K. KELLER,
METCALFE, MOUL, PICKETT, PYLE, READSHAW, ROTHMAN, RYAN,
SCHMITT, MILLARD, KEEFER, BOROWICZ AND DIAMOND, MAY 6, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, MAY 6, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in firearms and other dangerous
articles, providing for the offense of unlawful firearm
records.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
ยง 6143. Unlawful firearm records.
(a) Prohibition.--Except as otherwise provided under
subsection (b), no State governmental agency or political
subdivision or official, agent or employee thereof or any other
person, public or private, may knowingly and willfully keep or
cause to be kept any list, database, record or registry of
privately owned firearms or any list, database, record or
registry of the owners of those firearms.
(b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to any of
the following:
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(1) Records of firearms that have been used in
committing a crime.
(2) Records relating to a person who has been convicted
of a crime.
(3) Records of firearms that have been reported stolen.
These records may be retained for a period not in excess of
10 days after such firearms are recovered and any criminal
prosecution related to the stolen firearms has ended,
including any period during which an appeal may be filed.
Official documentation recording the theft of a recovered
weapon may be maintained no longer than the balance of the
year entered plus two years.
(4) Firearm records that are required to be retained by
firearms dealers or manufacturers under Federal or State law,
including copies of such records transmitted to law
enforcement agencies, provided that no State governmental
agency or political subdivision or official, agent or
employee thereof or any other person, private or public, may
accumulate, compile, computerize or otherwise collect or
convert such written records into any form of list, database
or registry for any purpose.
(5) Records kept by the Pennsylvania State Police to the
extent required by Federal law and a log of dates of requests
for criminal history record checks, unique approval and
nonapproval numbers, license identification numbers and
transaction numbers corresponding to such dates.
(6) Records of an insurer that, as a condition to
providing insurance against theft or loss of a firearm,
identify such firearm, provided that the records are not
sold, commingled with records relating to other firearms or
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transferred to any person or entity other than the insured
and that the insurer does not keep a record of the firearm,
unless part of an ongoing claim, more than 60 days after
either the policy of insurance expires or notification by the
insured that the insured is no longer the owner of the
firearm.
(7) Lists of customers of a firearms dealer retained by
the dealer, provided that the lists do not disclose the
particular firearms purchased, and lists or any parts thereof
are not sold, commingled with records relating to other
firearms or transferred to any other person or entity.
(8) Sales receipts retained by the seller of firearms or
by a person providing credit for the purchase, provided that
the receipts do not serve as or are used for the creation of
a database for registration of firearms.
(9) Personal records of firearms maintained by the owner
of the firearms or at the request of the owner of the
firearms.
(10) Records maintained by a business or person that
stores or acts as the selling agent of firearms on behalf of
the lawful owner of the firearms.
(11) Membership lists of organizations comprised of
owners of firearms.
(12) Records maintained by an employer or contracting
entity of the firearms owned or used by its officers,
employees or agents, if the firearms are used in the course
of business performed on behalf of the employer or
contracting entity.
(13) Records of firearms involved in criminal
investigations, criminal prosecutions, criminal appeals and
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postconviction motions, civil proceedings relating to the
ownership, surrender, seizure or safekeeping of firearms,
including protection orders and sheriff executions, and
voluntary surrender by the owner or custodian of the firearm
for safekeeping or otherwise.
(14) Paper documents relating to firearms involved in
criminal cases, criminal investigations and criminal
prosecutions, civil proceedings relating to the ownership,
surrender, seizure or safekeeping of firearms, including
protection orders and sheriff executions, and voluntary
surrender by the owner or custodian of the firearm for
safekeeping or otherwise.
(15) Noncriminal records relating to the receipt,
storage or return of firearms, including, but not limited to,
records relating to firearms impounded or surrendered for
storage or safekeeping, receipts proving that a firearm was
returned to its lawful owner and supporting records of
identification and proof of ownership, or records relating to
firearms impounded pursuant to sheriff execution or court
orders, provided that the records are not compiled, sorted or
otherwise arranged into any lists, indexes or registries of
firearms or owners of firearms.
(16) Records required to be maintained and reported by
eligible organizations licensed under the act of December 19,
1988 (P.L.1262, No.156), known as the Local Option Small
Games of Chance Act, provided that the records are not
compiled, sorted or otherwise arranged into any lists,
indexes or registries of firearms or owners of firearms.
(c) Right of action.--A person adversely affected by a
violation of subsection (a) may seek declarative and injunctive
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relief and the actual damages attributable to the violation in
an appropriate court.
(d) Attorney fees and costs.--The court shall award
reasonable expenses to a person adversely affected if an action
under subsection (c) results in a final determination by a court
in favor of the person adversely affected.
(e) Construction.--This section shall be construed to
effectuate its remedial and deterrent purposes. This section may
not be construed to grant any substantive, procedural privacy
right or civil claim to any criminal defendant, and a violation
of this section may not be grounds for the suppression of
evidence in any criminal case.
(f) Destruction of existing records.--Unless otherwise
prohibited by law, a list, database, record or registry subject
to subsection (a) and kept on the effective date of this section
shall be destroyed within 60 days after the effective date of
this section. After that 60-day time period, the failure to
destroy such list, database, record or registry may result in
prosecution under this section.
(g) Confidentiality.--Information retained in compliance
with subsection (b)(3), (4), (5), (12), (13), (14), (15) and
(16) shall not be subject to public access under the act of
February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
(h) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Firearm." Any weapon that is designed to or may readily be
converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive
or the frame or receiver of such weapon.
"Person adversely affected." Any of the following:
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(1) A person who has standing under the laws of this
Commonwealth to bring an action under subsection (c).
(2) A membership organization, the members of which
include a person described under paragraph (1).
"Reasonable expenses." The term includes, but is not limited
to, attorney fees, expert witness fees, court costs and
compensation for loss of income.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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