PA Governor Executive Order – The Legal Brief


Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show
where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of
the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and today the Pennsylvania
Governor put YOUR guns in his sights. Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe
signed executive order 2019-06. The order’s subject was entitled “reducing
gun violence”. After a few recitals, the order gets into
the details. First on the list is the establishment of
a Senior Advisor for Gun Violence Prevention who will be appointed by the Governor. The senior advisor’s job is to coordinate
the Commonwealth’s gun reform agenda. Let me repeat that last part, gun reform agenda. Next, the order states that within the Pennsylvania
Commission on Crime and Delinquency or PCCD, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention will
be established. It’s purpose is to work to eradicate gun violence
from a public safety perspective. The order also directs that the office will
collaborate with the Division of Violence Prevention, coordinate a system of focused
police deterrence in neighborhoods and cities where violence is most extreme, and work with
other Commonwealth agencies and stakeholders on community gun violence prevention and lost
and stolen firearms reporting requirements for law enforcement. But we’re not done creating new offices yet. In the Department of Health, the Division
of Violence Prevention will also be created, with the purpose to eradicate and prevent
gun violence from a public health perspective. The Division will collaborate with the Office
of Gun Violence Prevention and administer the Department of Health’s new and existing
violence prevention programs. Additionally, the Department of Health is
directed to create a Violence Data Dashboard that will collect and provide data on the
scope, frequency, locations, and populations affected by violence, including data on the
number of victims of gun violence, rates at which gun violence occur in locations, and
contributory factors. The order also adds additional responsibilities
to certain executive agencies. The Department of Health, is also tasked with
a Suicide Death Review Team to conduct multidisciplinary reviews of suicides, provide data to the Dashboard,
and make recommendations to prevent future suicide related deaths in Pennsylvania. The Department of Human Services will direct
the Suicide Prevention Task Force to make recommendations on actions to reduce suicides
by gun. And the Pennsylvania State Police will enhance
and expand its efforts to identify and deter potential sources of gun violence, develop
gun violence prevention training, and draft guidelines for local gun buyback programs. Which begs the question, how can you buy back
something you never owned? Additionally, within the Commission on Crime
and Delinquency, a special council on gun violence is to be established. The purpose is to study and make recommendations
to reduce and prevent gun violence. Council responsibilities include 1) adopting
a public health and community engagement strategy that includes gun owners, health care professionals,
and victims of gun-related incidents, that will provide direction, duties, and responsibilities
to the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, 2) reviewing current background check processes
for firearms purchasers and make recommendations for improvement, 3) reviewing best practices
and make recommendations that keep weapons from dangerous individuals, 4) identifying
and define strategies across Commonwealth agencies to align resources to reduce gun
violence, and 5) providing the PCCD and Senior Advisor with recommendations to reduce incidents
of community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, suicide, and accidental shootings. Let’s not forget the composition of this council. It will include representatives from the Children’s
Advocacy Center Advisory Committee, Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Mental Health
and Justice Advisory Committee, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, Victims’
Services Advisory Committee, School Safety and Security Committee, Sheriffs and Deputy
Sheriffs Education and Training Board. I wonder if there was a committee meeting
to decide what committees will be on this council. Additionally, it will include one representative
from each of the four legislative caucuses of the General Assembly, in addition to the
Secretaries of Education, Health, and Human Services, State Police Commissioner, Executive
Director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Director of
the Office of Homeland Security. The Governor is also free to appoint ex officio
members at his pleasure. The executive order creates a number of new
positions within the Government to research and make recommendations to prevent “gun violence”. If I had to guess, placing things under the
Department of Health is an attempt to create data that will be later used to push gun control
laws under the guise of public health. That’s it for this episode, if you have learned
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