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.