CeaseFirePA Telephone Town Hall with Governor Rendell Sends a Clear Message to Harrisburg: Get to Work and Enact Common Sense Gun Laws

Philadelphia, October 18, 2013 – On Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 pm, more than 5600 Pennsylvanians participated in a telephone town hall with CeaseFirePA and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to discuss gun violence prevention strategies for the Commonwealth. 40,000 Pennsylvanians were called to participate in this discussion, with over 12,000 picking up their phones to listen in, and over 5600 staying on the call. “We were thrilled by the participation rates,” said CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman. “Clearly, Pennsylvanians believe gun violence prevention deserves to be a major focus of attention not only in our own communities but by our lawmakers in Harrisburg.”

During the Town Hall, participants were asked if they support HB 1010 to expand background checks to cover the private sale of long guns, the only sales currently exempt from background checks under Pennsylvania law. 86% said they support the legislation, with 6% opposing and 13% unsure. These numbers continue to reflect the overwhelming statewide — and national — support for this common sense legislation.  As Goodman and Governor Rendell discussed on the call, background checks work to block purchases to those who should not have guns; expanding the system will help further protect us.

In addition to answering questions directly posed by listeners, Governor Rendell encouraged participants to get more involved by contacting their legislators.  He urged them to make their voices heard.  Almost 300 participants opted in to a follow-up call that will connect them directly to their legislators to advocate for cosponsorship and passage of HB 1010.

“This telephone town hall enabled us to directly connect with voters hungry for information and engagement, said Goodman.  “The extensive statewide participation, the strong poll numbers and the level of follow-up activity should send a clear message to Harrisburg: get to work and enact common sense laws that will make our communities safer.”

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