HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf was joined Monday by Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, legislators and stakeholders to urge passage of “commonsense gun safety legislation,” including background checks on all gun purchases in Pennsylvania.
“All of Pennsylvania’s citizens have the right to live happy, healthy lives free from fear about their and their family’s personal safety,” Wolf said.
“Unfortunately, in the past decades we have seen that sense of security, that sense of safety, threatened.
“I am calling on the legislature to take up additional commonsense gun reform bills that will help us close dangerous loopholes and keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to Pennsylvania’s citizens.
“We should pass legislation that requires all those who wish to purchase a firearm to go through a State Police background check; universal background checks are one of the best ways we can keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”
“In the commonwealth, a firearms transaction between two private parties does not require a background check if the firearm falls within certain criteria (these firearms are commonly referred to as long guns),” Evanchick said.
“It is this void in the current law we are in support of changing. The Pennsylvania State Police encourages closing this void in the current law and requests that all firearm purchases and or transfer of ownership require a universal background check.”
The governor also urged the House to quickly pass Senate Bill 501, which the Senate recently unanimously passed, and which prevents domestic abusers with protection from abuse orders against them from owning or possessing guns.
“I ask that the House work to quickly pass SB 501, and that the full legislature get to work to help close loopholes and pass reasonable gun safety reform laws,” Wolf said.
“We need commonsense gun safety laws, and we need to use the incredible system the State Police has built by requiring all those who wish to buy a gun to go through this reasonable, convenient background check system, so we can keep powerful weapons out of the hands of those who pose a danger to our citizens and we can keep our neighborhoods, our communities, and our public spaces safe.”