HARRISBURG – June 12, 2022 – Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa issued the following statement on today’s announcement on an agreement by the US Senate on a proposed deal to address gun violence:
“I am pleased that the United States Senate has reached a tentative deal on a proposed package to address the ongoing gun violence epidemic in our nation. Understanding it won’t be as multifaceted of an approach the US House of Representatives took last week, this is an important next step. I look forward to seeing the details of the agreement in writing.
As we all know, multiple solutions are needed to solve this problem. Part of that is passing common sense gun laws that don’t impede on Second Amendment rights but instead improve our systems to ensure only responsible gun owners have access to firearms. Senate Democrats have long advocated for the issues that are expected to be part of the federal plan – from the implementation of red flag laws and a more comprehensive background check system to increased mental health funding to provide greater access to services and improved school safety measures.
Even with today’s breakthrough, more needs to be done. Our caucus is doing everything within our power on the state level to move forward legislation that would directly address gaps in our law that make guns accessible to individuals who are a threat to others or themselves, including filing discharge resolutions to force a vote on actual solutions. We continue to urge our Republican colleagues in the majority to get serious and work with us to get this under control. Protecting our communities, our neighbors and our children should not be a partisan issue.
In addition to fighting for more secure gun legislation, Senate Democrats will also continue our advocacy for investments in access to mental health care at the community level and in our schools as well as funding for evidence-based programs and organizations to address community violence, including hate crimes. These are all issues we can address now, especially as part of our broader budget conversation. There is no time to wait.”