Public safety, guns and violence were topics of discussion at Judiciary Committee hearing

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - Public safety, violence and guns. Those were the topics talked about at a final hearing held by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee. Groups and organizations with differing opinions on gun control addressed the committee with what they believe works, and doesn't, with current gun laws in Pennsylvania.

Things at times got a bit heat, but there there also times of agreement. After a brief debate, Representative Madeleine Dean and attorney Adam Kraut agreed that education on firearms safety should be taught in schools.

"Why are we not teaching kids how to handle guns safely? So if they find themselves in a situation where one is they have the skills and knowledge to act appropriately and leave the situation safely," said Kraut.

Safety in schools was a focus of the meeting and many agreed there's not one solution to the problem. Kraut suggests more security in schools, while Representative Rick Saccone, a teacher himself, thinks teachers should be allowed to carry guns.

"Wouldn't you like a person like me in a classroom to be there to defend people when it's going to take 10 to 15 minutes for police to arrive," questioned Rep. Saccone. "Or you have three sheriffs standing outside as we had that incident doing nothing as people inside are being killed?"

Another topic, preventing children from accessing firearms in their homes was discussed. Shira Goodman with Ceasefire PA says school shooters get their guns at home in many cases, and showed warning signs beforehand.

"Do we have child access prevention laws? Are adults being held accountable? Do adults who know the children in their lives are in crisis have an obligation to temporarily remove those guns," questioned Goodman. "We need to look at the adults as well."

Members of the committee will continue to meet privately to go over the topics discussed at Monday's hearing before releasing legislation concerning public safety, violence and guns.

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