"The NRA is holding our cities hostage,” explained Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact Max Nacheman, CeaseFirePA Director
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-923-3151
PITTSBURGH – October 4, 2011 – This morning Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing HR 822 – the “National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” The resolution called on the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation – especially Senator Robert Casey and Senator Pat Toomey – to stand with Pittsburgh in opposition to the bill.
HR 822 would create a national “lowest common denominator” standard, in which states like Pennsylvania would be forced to recognize concealed carry permits granted by every other state – despite variations in permitting standards between states. Pennsylvania currently accepts concealed carry permits from only 25 states. This drastic shift in federal law would be a violation of States’ Rights and Sovereignty and would undermine the efforts of local law enforcement to prevent known dangerous individuals from carrying concealed loaded firearms in public.
Councilman Bruce Kraus introduce the resolution, explaining:
"One of our fundamental priorities on the Pittsburgh City Council has been the protection of our police officers. This law [HR 822] puts law enforcement
officers in harm's way... HR 822 is a gun-toting race to the bottom, a disaster. We're sending the message to
Senator Casey and Senator Toomey that it's an absolutely disastrous piece of legislation."
Councilman Doug Shields echoed the call for Washington to stand with the City, and warned that passing such a law would have detrimental effects for public safety:
"Where is the moral compass of this nation? HR 822 is so blatantly provocative; it's so obviously designed to touch some nerve. I'm very deeply troubled by this
brazen act. I don't know what useful purpose it would serve other than to subvert the authority that these states have to effectively regulate public safety... I really hope that Senator Casey will apply some common sense in this situation. As an elected official, you have to stand up for what's right."
Across Pennsylvania communities are beginning to rise up in opposition to the deadly proposed federal mandate. Dozens of mayors have already weighed in against the bill, including Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and Reading Mayor Thomas McMahon – Chairman of the Pennsylvania Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition. On the national level, law enforcement has lined up unanimously against the bill, led by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Major City Chiefs association, headed by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Ramsey, who testified before Congress in September explained that the bill, "would eliminate the right that states now have to set their own public safety laws, in consultation with law enforcement professionals... it is counter to what the field of law enforcement needs to create safer neighborhoods, towns and cities."
CeaseFirePA is Pennsylvania’s leading gun violence prevention organization. Every year 1200 Pennsylvanians are shot and killed. CeaseFirePA is dedicated to reducing and preventing gun violence through education and advocacy in communities across Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.CeaseFirePA.org or call us at 215-923-3151.