BUCKS COUNTY — January 15, 2020 — The following statement is attributable to Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) in response to the release of the initial report from Governor Wolf’s Suicide Prevention Task Force:

The initial report from Governor Wolf’s Suicide Prevention Task Force has been released. This task force is a part of Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters.

From the Office of the Governor: “Informed by the testimonies and suggestions of people affected by suicide, mental health professionals, and other stakeholders from across the commonwealth, the report will be used to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy of significantly reducing the number of suicides in Pennsylvania.”

One of the key themes identified by the task force is that “The Legislature could take direct action to prevent suicides through the passage of a Red Flag law (to provide a means to remove firearms from someone at risk for suicide) or safe storage requirements for firearms.”

52% of suicides were committed with a firearm. Gun violence prevention is a crucial component in reducing the number of suicides in Pennsylvania. To that end, I am proud to be the sponsor of Senate Bills 137 and 138, which address the safe storage of firearms when residing with a person not to possess a firearm, and when a firearm is not in use, respectively.

The Pennsylvania legislature has waited long enough. Safe storage is not just about responsible gun ownership, but about saving lives. This safe storage legislation has been proposed for a year. Direct action is long overdue, and I encourage my colleagues in the state Senate and House to consider the Suicide Prevention Task Force’s findings as we work to better help the people of Pennsylvania.

To read the full report from the Suicide Prevention Task Force, click here

For more information on Senate Bill 137, click here

For more information on Senate Bill 138, click here

Sen. Steve Santarsiero represents the 10th Senatorial District, which includes: Bedminster Township, Buckingham Township, Chalfont, Doylestown, Doylestown Township, Dublin, East Rockhill Township, Falls Township, Haycock Township, Hilltown Township, Lower Makefield Township, Morrisville, New Britain, New Britain Township, New Hope, Newtown, Newtown Township, Perkasie, Plumstead Township, Sellersville, Silverdale, Solebury Township, Telford, Tullytown, Upper Makefield Township, West Rockhill Township, and Yardley.