Ending Gun Violence in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Legislature

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,654 Pennsylvanians died due to gun violence in 2018. This is a rate of 12.5 deaths per 100,00 people in the Commonwealth. Of those 1,654 deaths, 62% were classified as suicides and 35% as homicides.

Studies show that attributes of Permit to purchase, or licensing laws, can lead to significant reductions in Firearm homicides, Firearm suicides and diversions of Firearms used in crimes.

When Connecticut passed a licensing law, its firearm homicide rate decreased by 40% and its firearm suicide rate decreased by 15%. Conversely, when Missouri repealed its licensing law, its firearm homicide rate increased by 25% and its firearm suicide rate increased by 16%. In 2018, New Jersey was able to trace nearly 10,000 crime guns back to the purchaser or original sale. Just 8% of those guns were used for a crime within 12 months of purchase and only 21% were purchased within NJ; a reflection of strong licensure laws. This means people with criminal intent had to go out of state to find a gun to commit their crime, a necessary hindrance that saved the lives of NJ residents.

Our neighbors throughout the Commonwealth are dying at an alarming rate from firearms. We must take action.

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To: Pennsylvania Legislature
From: [Your Name]

It is time for commonsense firearm laws. We cannot bear another loss of life in the Commonwealth. While it is fundamentally understood that each life taken through gun violence is a tragedy, these incidents happen with such frequency that we collectively view them as an inescapable part of our daily lives.

According to the last five years of data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2014 to 2018, firearm fatalities have risen each year in Pennsylvania. As a subset of this figure, suicide by firearm in Pennsylvania has experienced a similar rise between 2014 and 2018, culminating in 4,823 self-inflicted deaths over that period. In each of our communities, whether rural, urban, or suburban, we share the common painful experience of coping with gun violence.

At the Pennsylvania Safety Alliance (PSA), we do not believe that gun violence is something that Pennsylvanians should just accept as a daily part of our lives. We believe that the process of acquiring firearms in Pennsylvania should reflect the needs and concerns of Pennsylvanians.

There will not be a reduction in the amount of firearm-related fatalities in Pennsylvania without a dedicated commitment to change. Join PSA in calling for commonsense gun laws such as licensing laws seen in our neighboring states.

Together we can make a safer Pennsylvania,

Pennsylvania Safety Alliance