Senators Cappelletti and Santarsiero, Senate co-chairs of the PA SAFE Caucus, Respond to Pennsylvania Joining Multi-State Effort to Prevent Gun Violence and Enhance Public Safety

Harrisburg, PA − October 7, 2021 −  Senators Steve Santarsiero and Amanda M. Cappelletti, Senate Co-chairs of the bicameral PA SAFE Caucus applauded Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement today regarding the agreement that allows law enforcement agencies from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut to share crime gun data across state lines in order to detect, deter, and investigate gun crimes, as well as identify and apprehend straw purchasers, suspect dealers, firearms traffickers, and other criminals.

“The safety of our communities is critically important,” said Senator Santarsiero.  “As the gun violence epidemic needlessly rages on, we must take meaningful steps to protect the public and our police officers by focusing our efforts on stopping illegal gun activity.  Today’s announcement that Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will share gun crime information is an important step that will give law enforcement access to better information to crack down on the proliferation of illegal firearms trafficking across state lines.  I applaud the agreement announced today and the commitment of all four states to public safety.”

“Taking steps to end the treacherous and horrifying firearm violence epidemic in this country has been one of my top priorities since coming into office. This is something that my constituents share my concerns on,” said Senator Cappelletti. “I’m proud to see Pennsylvania taking the steps to properly record and investigate firearm violence, in tandem with our neighboring states. Firearm violence is a nation-wide epidemic that has been treated on a state by state basis, leading to fragmentated and complex systems which do not work together to end the violence. By streamlining this information and collaborating across state lines, we can more wholly tackle this issue. Firearm trafficking crosses state lines, so our knowledge base must as well. This step is one of many we must take as a Commonwealth to end firearm violence once and for all.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines the multi-state agreement for reciprocal crime data gun sharing that will establish protocols for officials in these states to distribute relevant information to their counterparts in an effort to decrease gun violence. About 50,000 guns are found to be diverted to criminals across state lines every year, federal data shows, and many more are likely to cross state lines undetected. Every step we take to mitigate that flow will be a step in the right direction.

At the legislative level, Sens. Cappelletti and Santarsiero recommend looking for comprehensive and intersectional measures including:

  • Senate Bill 761, establishing a 72-Hour waiting period for all firearm transfers, 
  • Senate Bills 581 and 582, requiring the safe storage of firearms,
  • Senate Bill 88, requiring universal background checks for the purchase or transfer of firearms, and
  • Senate Bill 217, requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms to local law enforcement within 24 hours.


Senator Santarsiero Calls for Immediate Action on Gun Safety Legislation Following Judiciary Committee Hearings

HARRISBURG – September 25, 2019 − State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10), co-chair the PA SAFE Caucus, a bicameral body dedicated to reducing gun violence, issued the following statement following two days of hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Behavior Health/Second Amendment Rights/Gun Related Issues: 

“The vast majority of Pennsylvanians are demanding action to address the epidemic of gun violence.  They understand it’s all too easy for people who should not have access to guns to get guns and that puts all of us at risk.  Pennsylvanians are frustrated that common sense gun violence prevention bills have not been acted on.  Bills like universal background checks, red flag, lost and stolen, safe storage and a ban on assault weapons would all help curb gun violence and suicides, have all languished in committee year after year. 

“I am glad we had these hearings this week, but what we really need are hearings and votes on the actual gun safety bills currently before the Senate.  Let’s have a vote on these bills. Then we can say we have done something to keep our communities safe.” 

Senator Santarsiero is the prime sponsor of SB 137 and 138, legislation requiring the safe storage of firearms by gun owners, the co-prime sponsor of SB 88 with Senators Vincent Hughes (D-7) and Killion (R-9), which would require universal background checks for firearm purchases, and is the co-sponsor of SB 90 and 292, legislation that would add Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that utilize Extreme Risk Protection Orders and bans the civilian purchase of military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.  

These gun safety bills have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and are awaiting further action.