Surge in sales adds new layer to Pennsylvania gun control debate

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvanians got together at the capitol on Tuesday for the annual Second Amendment rally. This year, a surge in gun sales adds a new layer to the gun rights debate.

At the rally, state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Centre, Clinton) noted an uptick in gun sales. “There’s been an 80% surge in gun sales and 139% surge in ammo sales.”

The ralliers cheered those statistics.

However, Adam Garber with Ceasefire PA says that trend has had consequences.

“What we’re now seeing is the violence that follows from that. We’re seeing homicide rates increase, calls to domestic and suicide hotlines increase across the state of Pennsylvania,” Garber said.

He believes those who championed the Second Amendment at the Capitol steps failed to address that.

“People at the rally are not offering common-sense solutions to suicide and domestic violence and gun homicides,” he said. “But rather, they’re pointing towards a phantom threat about people’s rights to bear arms. There’s no risk to people’s right to bear arms.”

The Second Amendment advocates see the threat as being the same gun control that Garber and his organization are pushing for.

Kelly Ann Pidgeon with Armed and Feminine mentioned that in her speech at the rally.

“We continue to hear so many anti-gun promises. Of course they like to use terms like gun sense and gun safety to make it appear that they are supporting gun owners. But they’re not and they don’t,” she said. “They’re not going to stop until this American population is disarmed.”

It seems the two sides share little common ground right now. But Garber said he wants to see both sides work together on a solution.

“What we need them to do is to stop creating phantom menaces about the loss of the right to bear arms and talk about real solutions to end the gun violence that’s taking the lives of 1,600 people every year,” Garber said. “If they want to come to the table and have a serious conversation about saving lives, we’ll be right at that table with them.”

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