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Gun Violence

Executive Order 2019-06

Signed into effect by Governor Tom Wolf on August 16, 2019, Executive Order 2019-06 tasks state agencies with working together to identify and implement evidence-based initiatives to help address the public health and public safety crisis of gun violence in Pennsylvania.

The Order established entities within state government to support these efforts, including an Office of Gun Violence Prevention at PCCD and a Division of Violence Prevention at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Governor's Executive Order also named PCCD's Chairman as a senior advisor charged with coordinating and facilitating gun violence reduction efforts in the Commonwealth.

Office of Gun Violence Prevention

PCCD's Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) is housed within the agency's Office of Justice Programs. The mission of OGVP is to reduce gun violence in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by supporting state and community decisionmakers and leaders, advancing knowledge and understanding through data and research, and investing in effective prevention and intervention strategies.

OGVP’s work is guided by the Report of Findings, Recommendations & Action Steps developed by the Governor’s Special Council on Gun Violence and published in March 2020. (See below for more information about the Special Council and its work.)

Among its responsibilities, the Office is charged with coordinating a system of focused police deterrence in neighborhoods and cities where violence is most extreme. The Office also works with other Commonwealth agencies and stakeholders on community gun violence prevention, lost/stolen firearms reporting, and other initiatives.

OGVP’s priorities include:

  1. Funding: Supporting adoption and implementation of innovative, evidence-based violence reduction strategies through grants, with a focus on Pennsylvania’s most at-risk communities.
  2. Technical Assistance & Stakeholder Engagement: Establishing a “Community of Practice” and information sharing network to spread promising practices and directly engage communities.
  3. Data and Research: Collect, collate, and analyze available data and research to evaluate outcomes and make adjustments to strategy as needed.

If you have a question or would like more information about PCCD's Office of Gun Violence Prevention, please email

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.)

A 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.

Meetings and Hearings

Special Council Meeting​Wednesday, October 9, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.​PCCD, 3101 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA
Regional Hearing – Reducing Likelihood of Accidental Shootings​Friday, November 15, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.​Lemmond Theater, Misericordia University, 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA
Regional Hearing – Combating Mass Shootings ​Thursday, November 21, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.​William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
Regional Hearing – Preventing Suicide by Firearms ​Friday, November 22, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.​Board Room, York City School District Administration Building, 31 N. Pershing Avenue, York, PA
Regional Hearing – Preventing Domestic Violence-Related Shootings ​Monday, November 25, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.​Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
Regional Hearing – Reducing Community Gun Violence ​Thursday, December 5, 2019 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.​Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, 3500 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA
Special Council Meeting ​Wednesday, December 11, 2019 – 1 to 3 p.m.​Dixon University Center, 2986 N 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA
Special Council Meeting ​Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.​PCCD, 3101 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA
Special Council Meeting ​Wednesday, February 26, 2020 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.​PCCD, 3101 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA

​Special Council Meeting

​Friday, October 9, 2020 – 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

​Virtual (Skype)

Membership Lists

Other Resources and Information