Press Release

In Harrisburg, Giffords Law Center Chief Counsel and Policy Director Testifies to Urgent Need for Extreme Risk Laws  

September 25, 2019—  Adam Skaggs, chief counsel and policy director of Giffords Law Center, testified before the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee today to discuss evidence-based policies to reduce gun violence.


“There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the committee from taking bold action to save lives from gun violence, if it demonstrates the courage to do so,” said Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel and Policy Director of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in remarks for the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee hearing prepared for delivery. “Pennsylvania’s gun death rate is higher than the national average. While Pennsylvania strengthened its gun laws last year by prohibiting gun possession by domestic abusers, there are a number of areas where the law can and should be strengthened.”

In his testimony, Skaggs described five categories of gun safety policies that courts have overwhelmingly upheld in the 11 years since the Heller decision. These policies include:

  • Restrictions on Guns in Public
  • Regulation of Particularly Dangerous Weapons and Ammunition
  • Possession of Firearms by Criminals and Other Dangerous People
  • Commercial Sales of Firearms
  • Firearms in Sensitive Places

Extreme risk proposals have received backing across the country and have been signed into law in 17 states and the District of Columbia, by both Republican and Democratic Governors. But yesterday, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee Chairman said the Committee would refuse to consider extreme risk legislation this session; Giffords released a statement condemning the refusal to consider the lifesaving legislation.