PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19, 2012 –CeaseFirePA, a coalition of Pennsylvanians, mayors, police chiefs, faith leaders, and community organizations, reacted strongly to Governor Corbett’s rejection of any effort to advance policies designed to reduce gun violence. According to Governor Corbett, “[W]e’re not going to get into that discussion right now. . . . I think we owe that to those children and we’re going to take some time.” Shira Goodman, CeaseFirePA Executive Director, observed: “The Governor is ignoring his duty to keep Pennsylvanians safe. Now is exactly the time for action. Pennsylvanians are demanding that our leaders work together to find common sense solutions that will reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.”
Pennsylvanians know that acting to prevent future tragedies is the way we respect and honor the memories of the victims and survivors of Newtown, Clackamas, Aurora, Tuscon, Virginia Tech, Western Psych, the Pittsburgh L.A. Fitness Center, and the twelve hundred Pennsylvanians who lose their lives to gun violence each year.
Pennsylvanians are demanding that our elected officials step up and lead. New legislation is being discussed that, if enacted, would help stem the flow of illegal guns into our communities and would help keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have access to firearms. “Communities and citizens alike want the tools to take a stand against gun violence,” explained Goodman. “Our leaders must examine how best to employ these tools to safeguard our Commonwealth.”
Such tools include requiring gun owners to report if their firearms are lost or stolen, having background checks for every sale of gun or ammunition, ensuring that Pennsylvania sends all relevant data to the national background check system, guaranteeing that Pennsylvania’s standards govern who will receive a concealed carry permit, and banning the sale and possession of certain assault type weapons and high capacity magazines.
It is time for Pennsylvania to have a real dialogue and debate about how to reduce gun violence. “Pennsylvanians are ready to take a stand against gun violence,” said Goodman. “We need our leaders to stand with us.”