The Sandy Hook massacre brought into sharp relief the need to review and redesign our nation’s gun laws, and reinvigorated bipartisan efforts across the nation to push common-sense gun control. Every year, more communities across the country are ripped apart by the violent use of guns that should never have been allowed into the perpetrator’s hands.
A bill co-sponsored by Pennsylvania’s Republican US Senator Pat Toomey – and supported by Pennsylvania’s other US senator, Democrat Bob Casey – that sought to require universal background checks on gun purchases failed to reach the supermajority it needed to pass in the US Senate. But similar legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives by congressmen Pete King, R-NY, and Mike Thompson, D-Ca, and hopefully this one will gain more traction.
To that end, today Mayors Against Illegal Guns sponsored a roundtable of women supportive of the King-Thompson bill at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore, aiming to get the support of other lawmakers on background checks for gun purchases.
A key focus in PA is HB 1010, which would expand Pennsylvania’s background check system to cover private sales of long guns. The bill is now before the House Judiciary Committee, and we hope it be voted out of committee and sent to the floor. Pennsylvanians want their representatives to stand up and be counted on this critical issue.
This and other policy measures were discussed at the round table, which featured women from Montgomery County, state Reps. Madeleine Dean and Mary Jo Daley, Dorothy Johnson-Speight of Mothers in Charge, leaders of domestic violence prevention and victims’ advocacy organizations, and CeaseFirePA’s Shira Goodman. The conversation was energizing, and many left inspired to get more involved and more active in working towards critical reform.
We don’t need any new days of remembrance. We need reform.