What We're Working On
CeaseFirePA is working in communities across Pennsylvania to build support from the ground up for reforms to reduce gun violence. The fact is, almost every gun crime is committed by somebody using an illegal gun. There are two issues to address: Why do people who are not allowed to have guns want them? And how do people who are not allowed to purchase guns get them so easily?
Reducing illegal access to firearms is a law enforcement issue. It has been more than ten years since our state legislature has seriously considered action to assist police in their mission to crack down on gun violence and the proliferation of illegal guns in our communities. In Washington it seems like Congress either ignores the issue entirely or makes things worse. In those ten years, more than 10,000 people have been killed with a gun in Pennsylvania. It is time for action.
Read below to learn more about some of the systematic failures that put communities at risk to gun violence, and to find out how you can help spread the word about these issues.
CeaseFirePA Success: Improving The Background Check System
THE BOTTOM LINE: As of February 2013 Pennsylvania has taken the necessary steps to share over 500,000 mental health records fully with the national instant background check system. In the past Pennsylvania has failed to provide important information to the national criminal background check database. More than 500,000 Pennsylvania records were missing from the system. CeaseFirePA's argument was that if one of those records was exposed in a background check, it could prohibit an individual from purchasing a firearm and that people who are not legally allowed to buy guns were slipping through the cracks.
CeaseFirePA Success: Attorney General Kathleen Kane Closed the "Florida Loophole"
THE BOTTOM LINE: Pennsylvania should have the authority to set and enforce its own gun laws, especially when it comes to carrying concealed and loaded firearms in public. Previously, loopholes in state law allowed Pennsylvania residents who were denied a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit to obtain one from Florida and use it to carry a hidden gun here.
Lost or Stolen Handgun Reporting
THE BOTTOM LINE: If a person discovers that his or her firearm has been lost or stolen, he or she should report it missing to the police within a reasonable period of time. Lost or stolen handgun reporting is a reform designed to crack down on straw-purchasers - people who buy guns and then sell them illegally to people who can't buy them on their own. It's commonsense. If you car was stolen, you'd report it missing - wouldn't you?