Bill Would Dismantle State Gun Background Checks

PA would defer to federal checks, but state police say local system is needed.

Newsworks reports that the PA House Judiciary Committee will vote today on a bill that would dismantle the state’s gun background check system, leaving officials to rely entirely on federal background checks. The bill eliminates expensive redundancy, advocates say

But, according to the Pennsylvania State Police, the state and national background check systems complement one another, rather than create duplication.

Spokeswoman Maria Finn said the state system can access information not available to the national background check system. As a result, she said, Pennsylvania’s system is “somewhat more robust,” containing, for example, certain records on juveniles and some arrest records not included in the national criminal background checks system.

“Right now, Pennsylvania uses those two systems in tandem,” said Shira Goodman, director of gun control advocacy group CeaseFire PA. “It is one of the good features of our regulation of guns here.”

Newsworks also notes: “The House Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to vote Tuesday on a measure to require local governments that pass gun regulations to pay legal fees and other costs of anyone who sues over the regulations.”