HARRISBURG – March 28, 2018 − State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today announced legislation that would create a system for tracing guns used in crimes in Pennsylvania.
Currently, when a firearm-related crime occurs in Pennsylvania, law enforcement investigates the firearm to better understand the nature of its use. Leach’s bill would create a mechanism by which the information collected about each firearm would be shared with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). PCCD would then partner with an educational institution to organize, analyze and publish the data. This data will give policymakers a thorough understanding of how firearms are used for crime.
“As we have seen recently, mass shootings like the tragedy in Parkland receive substantial public attention and media coverage, but they represent a small fraction of firearm-related crime in the United States,” Leach said. “If we are going to end everyday gun violence, and prevent the next mass shooting, it is important that we use data and science in ways that can be helpful. Crimes are always more dangerous when they involve a gun. By giving us the tools to understand the root causes of illegal gun use, we can stop guns from getting into the hands of those who will use them to commit violent crimes.”
Leach circulated his proposal to his Senate colleagues in the form of a memo. For the next few weeks, all senators will be able to co-sponsor Leach’s proposal if they wish. Once the co-sponsorship process is complete, Leach will introduce the policy’s language, at which time the proposal will be numbered and assigned to a Senate committee for consideration.
The City of Chicago enacted similar legislation, which resulted in a report detailing how firearms ended up in the hands of criminals. The report found that close to 60 percent of the guns recovered in Chicago came from dealers outside of Illinois. Information like that can be valuable when trying to understand gun violence.
Leach has been an outspoken supporter of gun control legislation. He recently proposed a bill that would allow courts to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who show warning signs of violence. In 2015 he successfully challenged the constitutionality of a law that granted special standing to membership organizations like the National Rifle Association to sue Pennsylvania municipalities over ordinances related to firearms.
Senator Daylin Leach represents the 17th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Montgomery County and Delaware County. He is also the Democratic Chairperson of the Senate Judiciary Committee. For more information visit www.senatorleach.com/newsroom.