Philadelphia, May 30, 2014 — CeaseFirePA is applauding the PA delegation to the U.S House of Representatives for its strong, bipartisan support last night for NICS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  In a late vote, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Commerce Justice and Science Appropriations bill (HR 4660) increasing funding for NICS by $19.5 million.  “We are proud that almost the entire PA delegation stood up for what the clear majority of Pennsylvanians want — a strong, effective background check system that helps keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them,” said Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFirePA.

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick was one of six cosponsors of the Amendment, and he was joined by fifteen of his PA colleagues in voting for the amendment, with only one no vote, Representative Scott Perry. Representative Bill Shuster did not vote. “We know that hundreds of calls, emails and tweets were sent to our representatives asking them to stand up for background checks and vote yes,” said Goodman, “and clearly those voices were heard.”

 

This vote presented an opportunity for our U.S. Representatives to go on the record and demonstrate their support for the background check system.   The Senate must also approve the spending increase, a vote that will be taken in the coming weeks.

 

Although there is much work to be done, both in Washington, D.C. and in Harrisburg to make us safer and reduce gun violence, this is a critical step in the right direction.  “We are confident,” said Goodman, “that Pennsylvanians will continue to make themselves heard.”