Senate hearings reveal need for more behavioral health services; gun control legislation still in question

Senate hearings reveal need for more behavioral health services; gun control legislation still in question

A spate of marathon Senate Judiciary Committee hearings revealed a glimpse into the complex task of reducing gun violence across the commonwealth, and while panelists appeared to agree on the need for expanded mental health services, the future of gun-related legislation remains in question for members of the General Assembly.  

The long-awaited hearings, promised by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) as a “prelude to action” following two summer mass shootings in the U.S., featured testimony from psychiatrists, gun rights advocates, prosecutors and gun control advocates — who all appeared to agree that residents lack access to mental health care that could reduce instances of violence. 
Wednesday, September 25, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Advocates call for ERPOs as a tool to combat suicides

Advocates call for ERPOs as a tool to combat suicides

Lost during gun control conversations, advocates say, is consideration for the role of firearms in suicides.

While the gun violence debate frequently centers around mass shootings and illegal gun crimes, roughly 200 activists who filled the Capitol rotunda steps on Tuesday said that more attention should be paid to the hundreds lost each year to firearm-involved suicides. 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Senate Judiciary Committee schedules fall hearings on gun violence, mental health

Senate Judiciary Committee schedules fall hearings on gun violence, mental health

As Democratic lawmakers continue to call for gun reforms, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) this week announced the committee’s fall schedule, promising a series of hearings on gun violence, the statute of limitations and the parole process in Pennsylvania.

After two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas earlier this month, Baker pledged to hold public hearings prior to taking action on gun-related measures. Those hearings will be held on September 24 and September 25 to address “behavioral health, Second Amendment rights and other gun-related issues,” according to a release from her office.
Thursday, August 15, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Sen. Killion building support for ERPO bill

Sen. Killion building support for ERPO bill

Senator Thomas Killion (R-Chester) will use the Senate’s May recess to meet with stakeholders and try to get more support among colleagues for his extreme risk protection order, or ERPO, bill.

The legislation creates the framework to temporarily remove guns from the possession of those considered a danger to others and themselves. It’s been adopted in other states as a way to reduce gun-related deaths, especially suicides.
Friday, May 10, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
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