June 29, 2017 — Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the following statement on the Pennsylvania Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 383, a dangerous new proposal that would allow school personnel to carry loaded firearms in schools.
STATEMENT BY NICO BOCOUR, STATE LEGISLATIVE MANAGER, AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS:
“Guns have absolutely no place in our schools. Yet the Pennsylvania Senate passed a dangerous gun lobby-backed bill that would make it easier for loaded guns to enter Pennsylvania’s classrooms. This irresponsible bill ignores the truth about gun violence and poses a clear, demonstrable danger to our students, teachers, and communities. We urge the House to help keep Pennsylvania’s classrooms gun-free and reject this extreme proposal.”
School shootings are so shocking because schools are generally safe havens from the violence that is so frequent elsewhere in this country. Laws establishing gun-free school zones have significantly reduced gun violence in these areas—school associated student homicide rates decreased dramatically after the enactment of federal laws prohibiting guns on the grounds of K–12 schools. Gun lobby efforts to allow guns into schools are dangerous and counterproductive to public safety. Read more about the dangers of guns in schools here.
ABOUT SB 383
If passed, SB 383 would allow the board of school directors in a public K-12 school district to “establish a policy permitting school personnel access to firearms in the buildings or on the grounds of a school.” The bill also states that the identity of specific school personnel who are permitted to access firearms may not be disclosed at open meetings and are not subject to a separate “right-to-know” law.
ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA’S GUN LAWS
Pennsylvania does not require a background check when an unlicensed person sells a rifle or shotgun or require gun owners to report if their guns are lost or stolen. Pennsylvania also fails to provide local law enforcement with the discretion to deny a license to carry firearms. In every year from 2006 through 2009, Pennsylvania was one of the top ten interstate suppliers of crime guns. Learn more about gun laws in Pennslyvania at http://smartgunlaws.org/