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​Special Council on Gun Violence

The Governor's Executive Order also created an 18-member Special Council on Gun Violence within PCCD that included representatives from public health, public safety, law enforcement, victim services, education, human services, criminal and juvenile justice, research institutions, and state/local government. PCCD's Chairman served as Chair of the Special Council. A full listing of Special Council members is available under "Membership Lists," below.

The Council's responsibilities included:

  • Conducting its first meeting within 60 days of the Executive Order.
  • Adopting a public health and community engagement strategy that included gun owners, health care professionals, and victims of gun-related incidents, to provide direction, duties, and responsibilities to PCCD's Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
  • Reviewing current background check processes for firearm purchasers and making recommendations for improvement.
  • Reviewing best practices and making recommendations that keep weapons from dangerous individuals.
  • Identifying and defining strategies across Commonwealth agencies to align resources to reduce gun violence.
  • Providing the Commission and the Senior Advisor for Gun Violence Prevention with recommendations to reduce incidents of community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, suicide, and accidental shootings in Pennsylvania within 180 days of its initial meeting.

The Council held its first meeting in Harrisburg on October 9, 2019. Over the course of the next four months, the Council initiated a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy to better understand the root causes of gun violence in the Commonwealth, as well as identify potential solutions, through public hearings, workgroups, and an online public comment survey. (Note: A list of workgroup members and public hearing dates is available below.)

Report of Initial Findings and Workgroup Recommendations outlining key findings and themes from this initial stakeholder engagement phase was presented to the Special Council for its review and consideration in January 2020.

On February 26, 2020, the Special Council reviewed and reached consensus on a Report of Findings, Recommendations & Action Steps. A copy of this report was presented to the Governor and the Commission during its March 11, 2020 meeting. You can learn more about the Special Council's efforts and recommendations by reading its Report.