HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Gov. Tom Wolf joined anti-gun violence organizations, community leaders, and government officials on Tuesday to encourage stronger legislative action against gun violence on the third anniversary of the Tree of Life mass shooting in Pittsburgh.
Wolf has previously called on Pennsylvania lawmakers to take up safe storage legislation, to tighten reporting requirements for lost or stolen guns, to pass the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act (also known as the red flag law), and to pursue state-level universal background checks on all gun purchases.
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These actions are similar to legislation supported by CeaseFirePA, which Wolf also supports. More specifically, CeaseFirePA proposes:
- Extreme Risk Protection Orders that would enable officials to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who want to harm themselves or others.
- Requiring individuals to report lost or stolen firearms within 72 hours.
- Preventing the purchase of military-style rifles from private, non-licensed sellers by closing gaps in the state’s background check system.
“Communities across our commonwealth — especially Black and brown communities — are facing a daily barrage of gun violence as we now prepare to mark three years since the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. We need everyone’s help to address this crisis. While Gov. Wolf’s leadership is greatly appreciated, we also need a Senate that is part of the solution, not a Senate that prioritizes legislation that makes communities less safe,” Adam Garber, executive director of CeaseFirePA, said.
Wolf and other lawmakers and community members spoke against two bills that may soon come to the Senate for consideration.
According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, Senate Bill 448 would allow anyone to sue a city for enacting gun safety policies. Taxpayer money would be used to cover legal costs. Senate Bill 565 would allow anyone over 18 to carry a loaded, concealed firearm in public without a permit, according to the press release.
“I have repeatedly called for legislative action on key commonsense measures. Instead of acting to increase gun safety and reduce violence, the majority are instead pushing dangerous legislation that would make all of us less safe,” Wolf said.
Wolf also stated, “My administration has made it a top priority to address the scourge of gun violence, but executive action alone cannot end gun violence in Pennsylvania. We need the General Assembly to take action to increase gun safety and prevent gun violence.”