As gun violence is growing, preventing it in our state is the the aim of a new report released by the Auditor General’s office today.
Matt Heckel reported on the story.
The Auditor General began this report last year, after there were 1,500 gun related deaths in Pennsylvania in 2016. He’s hoping it will curb that gun violence, without changing existing laws.
The report was released Tuesday, listing 12 recommendations. Among them, expanding access to mental health care. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says it’s an issue that was also raised by the “school safety task force.”
“Adults and students alike reported difficulty in accessing mental health services,” said DePasquale. “Expanding access to services could go a long way toward curbing violence and saving lives.”
He’s also asking firearms dealers to look for red flags in customers who may potentially use a gun in a suicide, asking the state game commission to expand it’s hunter education program on safe firearm usage and storage and is asking the governor to sign an executive order requiring state police to release regular reports on firearms traced from crimes.
“This will help track lost and stolen guns,” said DePasquale.
In compiling the report, the Auditor General says he worked with a number of groups on all sides of the debate to look for solutions. One group he reached out to that didn’t participate, though was the NRA.
“Anyone that doesn’t want to be part of the discussion on reducing firearm deaths, is part of the problem,” said DePasquale.
And we reached out to the National Rifle Association today to ask about why they did not participate in this report. So far, we have not heard back.