Please join us as we honor Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Movita Johnson-Harrell, Dorothy Johnson-Speight, and Cindy Warkow at this year’s CeaseFirePA Keystone Courage Award.
We welcome you to join us for a reception, program & light supper. Business attire.
Click here to purchase a ticket
Yesterday afternoon, both houses of our PA state legislature handed the gun lobby perhaps its biggest-ever legislative gift: automatic legal standing to sue our towns who have stood up for their citizens by passing laws to protect public safety and dramatically reduce illegal firearms tracking. In the Senate, SB 5 passed by an overwhelming majority (34-16); in our state House, which is slated to cast its final vote on HB 671 as early as this afternoon, dozens of friendly, damage-mitigating amendments to HB 671—including A848, which would have exempted local “lost or stolen gun reporting” laws from legal challenges under HB 671–were soundly defeated by our state House members. The House just passed HB 671, 134 to 53.
If these bills ultimately pass, all Pennsylvania taxpayers will be affected and the NRA will have unprecedented access to our legal system.
The vote counts are below.
Vote Counts on Senate Bill 5
Vote Counts on A848 (amendment to HB 671 that would have exempted lost and stolen reporting requirements)
Vote Counts on HB 671.
This week sees the anniversaries of the massacres at Virginia Tech (4/16) and Columbine (4/20). Rather than attend a vigil, call for a moment of silence, or recognize the tragedies…the general assembly equipped with their NRA shills passed two pieces of legislation that are offensive, unnecessary, and dangerous.
First, members of the House Judiciary voted for the latest version of Preemption. Under the watchful eye of the NRA’s PA lobbyist, members of the committee stumbled over themselves to regurgitate talking points from the greedy gun lobby. They waxed poetic about a case of someone driving from one part of the state to another and accidentally violating a municipality’s gun ordinances. The fact this case has yet to ever happen didn’t stop them from voting on a bill that would allow ANY membership organization with ANY member who MAY BE eligible to own a gun (No they don’t have to be a gun owner) to SUE ANY township, borough, city, or community that enacts their own gun laws. Even if THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE.
The vote was 19-6-2. The full vote count can be found here. If your Representative voted for this bill contact them and tell them what you think.
Since it has passed out of committee it could come to the full house floor as soon as Monday. So please call your State Representative and tell them to vote NO on this bill.
Second, was a bill voted on by members of the Senate Education Committee. The proposed legislation would grant authority to School Boards to determine which of their employees may carry a firearm onto school grounds. The only additional stipulations are that the employee has a license to conceal/carry and that they undergo training. The bill does not state what an acceptable form of training would be. Nor does the bill say anything about storage or safety.
When a motion to have a hearing was brought forth it was struck down. This bill was also voted out of committee and its vote count can be found here. If you believe that guns don’t belong where your children learn, or that children will find a way to access the firearm, or that the risks associated with accidental discharge are too grave…then please contact them
My name is Lisa Haver. I am a former teacher, and I lost my son to gun violence. I know firsthand, more guns in more places do not make us safer. That is why I was shocked to learn the State Senate is voting on a proposal to arm our teachers with guns.
Write your Senator right now and let him or her know, this will not make our children safer.
As someone who has experience inside the classroom and knows the heartbreak of losing a child — I know this legislation is not the answer. Guns in classrooms is a bad idea for teachers, students, and our communities. It will make us all less safe.
Please email your Senator and ask him or her to oppose this dangerous bill!
Over the course of a six-month period in 2014, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) analyzed news reports to better understand the effects and trends of murder-suicides in the United States. The VPC observed that 282 murder-suicides were committed over the course of that period. Of the 282 murder-suicides, 93% included a firearm, and 72% included an intimate partner of the shooter as a victim. These partners were usually a wife or girlfriend of the (often male) shooter. 81% of the murder-suicides were carried out at home.
Murder-suicide is a serious phenomenon in the US that not only affects the shooter, but also family members, friends, and co-workers who fall victim to the shooter’s aggression. While the VPC study counted a total of 282 murder-suicides, but the total number of deaths during that period were 617. This statistic demonstrates that suicide, especially suicide by firearm, is an act that can affect more than one person.
March 28, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For additional information, contact Shira Goodman, Executive Director
CeaseFirePA Condemns Senate Efforts to Resurrect The “Sue Our Cities” Law
CeaseFirePA condemns this morning’s vote by the Local Government Committee of the Pennsylvania Senate in favor of SB 5, which would reenact the controversial provisions of Act 192, which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional. This bill expands preemption of local firearms laws and creates a special right to sue Pennsylvania towns and cities. The private right of action created by this bill — along with the right for organizations to sue on behalf of members — are unavailable in any other context and undermine hundreds of years of common law that govern how someone obtains standing to sue.
Four mayors — Philadelphia’s Jim Kenney, Pittsburgh’s Bill Peduto, Lancaster’s Rick Gray and Oxford’s Geoff Henry — submitted a letter urging the Committee to oppose SB 5. They wrote, “This bill is an unacceptable punitive measure that forces mayors and councils to choose between protecting public safety and protecting the public fiscally. . . .We cannot govern under constant threat of lawsuit by citizens who do not live in nor visit our cities, and by outside organizations granted a special status to sue.”
While the legislature tries again and again to pass this bill, it ignores actual legislation that would make Pennsylvania safer. CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman committed to a full-on fight against this legislation: “The gun lobby is obsessed with creating a special right for itself to sue our cities, punish elected officials for working hard to keep people safe and divert tax dollars to frivolous litigation. We will work with mayors, council members, and individual Pennsylvanians to fight this effort.”