Firearms Policy Reform
On October 27, 2018, Squirrel Hill was changed forever when an anti-semitic gunman attacked the three synagogues in the Tree of Life building.
Adding Pittsburgh to the long list of cities forced to grapple with the senseless loss of life caused by a mass shooting did not change my position on gun policy reform; as co-chair of the PA Safe Caucus, I have fought for two decades to pass common-sense gun regulations. But it did make me one of the millions of people in this country who has been directly affected by gun violence. My community will never stop paying the price for that hateful attacker’s unfettered access to a weapon of war. The trauma will play out over generations.
We lost 11 souls on that terrible day. Neighboring communities to mine are losing several times that many precious lives each year to gun violence. These deaths are preventable, and to do nothing is immoral.
Any rational person can see that deadly weapons should be regulated at least as much as, say, swimming pools or lawnmowers.
Any rational person can see that requiring firearm owners to obtain a permit to carry loaded, concealed firearms does not interfere with their 2nd Amendment rights any more than requiring a permit for a protest rally does not interfere with 1st Amendment rights.
I will continue to fight for universal background checks, raising the age minimum to purchase guns to 21, empowering family members and law enforcement to petition to temporarily block a person in crises from having guns, recognizing that responsible gun ownership includes locking up one’s guns and keeping them out of the hands of children, and banning sales of assault-style weapons.
In the face of the Republican-led legislature’s refusal to take up meaningful reform measures, I introduced two bills to allow municipal and county governments to create local laws that reflect residents’ desire to have reasonable limits on gun use and ownership. I also drafted legislation to require prospective gun purchasers to obtain liability insurance first.
As Democratic Chairman of the House Health Committee, I hosted a 2019 policy hearing on “Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis.”
Since 1999, Rep. Dan Frankel has served Pennsylvania’s 23rd district, which includes the neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Point Breeze, Regent Square, Greenfield, and Shadyside.