A Tale of Two Pro-Gun Bills

The House Judiciary Committee tabled Republican Rep. Krieger’s bill (HB 921) to eliminate Pennsylvania’s background check system for gun purchasing and leave a less comprehensive system behind. Shira Goodman of CeaseFirePA credited the deluge of calls, letters and visits they organized with thwarting this bill.

However, Rep. M. K. Keller’s bill (HB 2011) giving special legal standing to gun owners and organizations of gun owners to sue towns and cities was passed out of the committee. Nevertheless, Ms. Goodman vowed that CeaseFirePA would continue its work to defeat HB 2011 as it moves to the floor of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly:

And you know what our callers heard repeatedly yesterday — for the first time, the contacts from folks on our side of the issue — the side of gun violence prevention and safety — were far outnumbering the calls from the other side.  That passion gap we always hear about — destroyed!

An average of 100,000 people are shot each year in the United States. Now is not the time to rally for weaker background check laws. Now is the time to fight for stronger gun laws that help prevent violence and promote responsible firearm ownership.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America combined forces to create the video “Scenes from Everytown: 4:08 pm” as part of their “Everytown for Gun Safety” series highlighting key gun violence issues.

PA’s Tough Penalties For Handgun Straw Purchases

Last week, Governor Corbett signed a bill that will enforce tough minimum penalties for straw purchasers found guilty of buying more than one gun for people who can’t legally buy guns themselves. Groups like Ceasefire PA have lobbied for such a law to keep handguns out of the hands of convicted felons. This issue was addressed in the very first issue of the Phialdelphia Jewish Voice. For over a decade, the NRA’s allies in Harrisburg used obstructionist tactics to prevent this bill from coming up for a vote. However, after a series of massacres this position became politically untenable and the bill was able to move forward.

CeasefirePA continues to lobby for lost or stolen handgun reporting requirements. A reporting requirement would enforce responsibility for gun ownership before the guns can be used in a crime.