Sensible Gun Laws

from Susan Rzucidlo for PA House 158

The United States Constitution grants us the right to bear arms. And while gun ownership is a right, it is also a privilege; a privilege that carries enormous responsibility. We must work together to ensure that guns are not accessible by individuals who are not permitted or capable enough to own and operate them. I believe that sensible people working together can find common ground to do just that.

Every American is shocked, saddened and frustrated when we hear of yet another shooting in our country. Regardless of whether it happens in a school or on the street, at a church or in a home, in an office or an act of road rage, these incidents shake us to the core. We all want to find a way to make these senseless acts stop. We all come at the problem with different ideas but if we would work together we would improve the situation. What we already know is that this not a simple problem. We also can’t decide not to take any action, just because it won’t fix the whole problem.

We need to make changes in the law that will help protect the people of Pennsylvania. We can all agree that weapons in the hands of criminals, terrorists and those who are a danger to themselves or others is not in the best interest of anyone. Requiring a criminal background check for all gun sales is simply common-sense legislation and something that I will work to implement if elected.

Did you know that adjusting for population, there were 46 percent fewer intimate partner gun homicides of women in states that require background checks for all gun sales than in states that do not?1) We have the ability to reduce gun related violence by implementing these common-sense requirements:

Require uniform background checks for all gun sales.

Reform the 3-day background check limit so that when there has been no clearance from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the gun sale is held until it can be determined that the purchaser actually does meet the state requirements for gun ownership. Under PICS the wait time is 15 days. If the background check has not cleared under PICS then the sale should not be permitted to occur.

Institute a reasonable Lost and Stolen law that would require Pennsylvania residents to report lost or stolen weapons when they come to realize that their gun has been lost or stolen. This will help reduce straw purchases and reduce the number of guns that get into the illegal trade.

Enhance the circumstances where someone who is proven to be violent but has never been committed to a psychiatric hospital, can be evaluated by qualified professionals and lose his/her right to own a gun.

We also need to collaborate with higher education, the faith based community and social scientists to address the societal reasons for the increased violence that we are seeing in communities across our nation. Together, I believe we can work to address the reasons and close opportunity gaps.

The pieces of legislation I am proposing defends responsible, legal gun owners while protecting all citizens, by decreasing the likelihood of guns being obtained by those who are not qualified to purchase or own guns.

If you have any questions on this issue or any other state issue I invite you to call or text me at (610) 659-3145

Susan Rzucidlo

Resources

1) http://everytownresearch.org/state-background-check-requirements-and-rates-of-domestic-violence-homicide/

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