Criminalizing the legal exercise of constitutional firearm rights does nothing to truly make Pennsylvania's communities safer.

Right now, a crime and violence epidemic is gripping this state and this country. Political prosecutors are setting policies that are putting people who should be behind bars back out on the streets, and they are committing crimes they should not even be able to commit.

After years of Democrats calling to defund the police and hating law enforcement, police morale is low and recruitment is lagging. There are not enough police on the streets to keep people safe.

We should be ensuring our laws are enforced, our police are supported, and violent criminals are incarcerated.

These bills make criminals out of legal gun owners.

HB 338 (Lost and Stolen) – Puts penalties on legal gun owners who fail to report their firearms are lost or stolen within 24 hours.

HB 714 (Universal Background Checks) – Someone who might be able to purchase a firearm legally today may not be able to do so after this legislation passes, criminalizing currently legal behavior. The bill would expand the background checks for handguns to all firearms, including rifles, through all sales whether retail, gun show or private.

HB 731 (Safe Storage) – Makes it illegal to own a firearm without equipping the firearm with a locking device or keeping it in a secure storage device. In essence this would prevent friends at a gun club selling hunting rifles to each other.

HB 1018 (Red Flag Laws/Extreme Risk Protection Order) – Turns legal gun owners into suspected criminals who must give up their 2nd Amendment and Art. 1, sec. 21, gun rights because SOMEONE ELSE suspects them of having a mental health or violence problem. Under this bill a legal gun owner could have their firearm taken away without the person ever having a chance to offer their side of the story in court.

Our focus should be on having police and prosecutors enforce the laws already on the books - and on the person instead of the instrument.

Again, current gun laws are not being enforced. Let’s focus on what we already have on the books to reduce gun crime and not make new criminals against whom laws will not be enforced.

We should focus on the person, instead of the item. 

No doubt mental health plays a key component in many suicides and other horrific gun crimes.

Let’s work on:
- early intervention,
- destigmatization of mental health issues,
- and treatment......

rather than our first instinct being to deprive people of their constitutional rights.

House GOP Leader Bryan Cutler on House Bill 1018 (Red Flag Laws/Extreme Risk Protection Order)