CeaseFirePA: Domestic Violence Awareness Month is the Time to Take Action on Expanding Background Checks

Abington, PA, October 10, 2013 — CeaseFirePA today stood with legislators, community organizations, domestic violence prevention advocates, health professionals and Mayors Against Illegal Guns to observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month and highlight how commonsense gun laws can help protect domestic violence victims and survivors. The focus was the need to expand the Pennsylvania background check system.

Representative Steve Santarsiero of Bucks County, prime sponsor of House Bill 1010, thanked his colleagues in Bucks and Montgomery County who are supporting the legislation through cosponsorship. He explained that the bill is simply designed to close a loophole that allows certain gun sales — private sales of long guns — to be conducted without background checks.

Long guns are disproportionately used by domestic abusers against women and by criminals against police officers. The facts demonstrate that background checks work to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. The presence of law enforcement officers, including one who himself was shot in the line of duty, and domestic violence prevention advocates made clear that making all gun sales subject to background checks will save lives.

Representative Madeleine Dean of Montgomery County remarked “I am proud to stand with legislators and other members of my community who are directly affected by the devastation of gun violence. The passage of HB 1010 will be a step in the direction of building safer communities here in my town and across this state.”

Standing with a crowd of partner organizations and community members calling for change, CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman observed, “We are the growing majority: Pennsylvanians who want our Commonwealth to lead the way in enacting commonsense laws that protect us without burdening the rights of law abiding gun owners.”

“As responsible Pennsylvanians, it is our right and obligation to make our voices heard,” said Goodman. “Our elected officials must demonstrate that they are standing with Pennsylvanians who are working for safer communities by signing on as cosponsors of HB 1010.”

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