Session: 2023-2024

ACLU-PA Position: Opposes

HB 483 (PN 451) would mandate the creation of a Gun Violence Task Force (GVTF), similar to the one operating in Philadelphia, in any county that exceeds a certain threshold for firearm-related deaths. Currently, 38 counties would be required to establish task forces. GVTFs would be under the sole authority of the Office of Attorney General (OAG) and would allow the OAG to assert preemptive prosecutorial jurisdiction for certain gun-related offenses.

HB 483 is part of an on-going effort to usurp local enforcement authority by concentrating it in the PA Office of the Attorney General. HB 483 would override the authority of local law enforcement and the discretion of county district attorneys to determine whether and how to investigate and prosecute local gun-related violations. Under HB 483, this power would be usurped and/or concentrated in the following ways:

  • Each county GVTF would be under the sole authority of the OAG, including control over GVTF funding and determining whether and whom to include as additional members of a county’s GVTF.
  • In addition to prosecuting cases via a GVTF, the OAG would be granted additional power to empanel its own “individualized investigatory teams” to work in conjunction with the task force. 
  • With the exceptions of crimes of violence and criminal homicide, the authority of the OAG to assert preemptive jurisdiction is broad and could extend to cases where alleged violations of §§ 6105 and 6111 are not the lead charges.
  • Lest the OAG miss out on opportunities to add to its coffers, HB 483 would ensure that preemptive prosecutorial jurisdiction would extend to asset forfeiture arising from violations of §§ 6105 or 6111.
  • Finally, HB 483 would prohibit any challenge to the authority of the OAG to prosecute a case—a clear attempt to insulate the legislation from judicial review.

Check the bill's status here.


Representative Jared Solomon



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