A new bill referred to as the ‘Firearms Registration Act’ would require all Pennsylvania gun owners to register their firearms with the Pennsylvania State Police.
The proposed law was introduced by Democrats Mary Louise Isaacson, Angel Cruz and Mary Jo Daley last week.
According to the measure, if passed, every citizen in possession of a gun would be required to be fingerprinted, provide two photographs that are no older than 30 days old and would have to go through a background check for each firearm that they own.
The registry would be compiled in an application containing of all of the owner’s personal information, such as their home and work address, phone number, sex, age, and social security number as well as the make, model, and serial number of the firearm.
If the owner’s application gets denied by the State Police, the owner would then have 10 days to file an appeal. If they fail to do so within the time limit, their gun ownership rights would be forfeited.
This bill would make it a punishable offense to sell, transfer, or be in possession of an unregistered firearm.
— WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (@WTAE) March 16, 2019
The measure also calls for tight control on how guns are stored within a home. Guns must be unloaded and disassembled or must be guarded with a trigger lock, even in a home with no children.
Additionally, the bill states that any change in address or job must be communicated to the Pennsylvania State Police within 48 hours of the change. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution.
With each firearm requiring an application and authorized certificate (which costs $10 per gun and expires every year), gun collectors with large quantities of guns could run into trouble.
In the memoranda of the bill, primary sponsor Rep. Cruz, says, “In this world of instant information, we can’t go an hour without hearing on the news or social media about crime, injury, or death involving firearms. Pew Research Center reports that almost half of Americans personally know someone who has been shot, with 40,000 gun-related deaths reported in 2017. Six in ten Americans believe that our nation’s gun laws are not strict enough, and it’s time something be done to address this problem.”
Gun registrations have produced poor results in other states, like New York and Connecticut, where gun owners largely defied the states’ calls to register semi-automatic rifles and “assault weapons.”
We’ve seen sweeping gun control laws across the country since the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida. Pennsylvania now joins the growing list of states tying to enact aggressive gun control measures.
The bill is expected to be presented to the judiciary committee shortly.