Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Brief Highlights the Devastating Impact of Gun Violence in the Keystone State
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Brief Highlights the Devastating Impact of Gun Violence in the Keystone State

Washington, D.C. — According to a number of key measures, gun violence in Pennsylvania stands out as among the worst in the nation. Despite enacting some strong gun laws that help keep guns out of the hands of individuals who pose an increased risk to community safety—such as legislation to require background checks for handgun purchases and requiring gun dealers to receive a state license in addition to a federal one—many communities in Pennsylvania are still left facing unacceptably high levels of gun violence.

The Center for American Progress has released an issue brief highlighting the following disturbing aspects of gun violence in Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania’s rate of gun homicides is among the highest in the nation, particularly in communities of color.
  • Pennsylvania law enforcement officers are killed with guns at an exceptionally high rate.
  • More Pennsylvanians are killed by gun violence than in car accidents annually.
  • Pennsylvania is a top supplier of crime guns recovered in other states.
  • Pennsylvania women are killed with guns wielded by intimate partners at a high rate.

“Gun violence in Pennsylvania is an urgent public health crisis that requires a comprehensive approach and a commitment from leaders across the state to take meaningful action to address it,” said Chelsea Parsons, CAP Vice President of Guns and Crime Policy and co-author of the brief. “There are many opportunities for Pennsylvania’s leaders to strengthen the state’s laws and take executive action to enhance enforcement of current laws and engage with the communities most affected by gun violence to start turning the tide of gun deaths in the state.”

“This brief highlights that Pennsylvania can and must do better,” said Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFirePA. “We know that enacting comprehensive background checks on all private sales, requiring reporting of lost and stolen guns, and taking strong steps to keep guns away from domestic abusers would make Pennsylvania safer. We will continue fighting for these common-sense measures that can help save lives and give Pennsylvania a grade we really can be proud of.”

Click here to read the brief.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.