PA Legislators Call For State and Federal Action on Gun Legislation
Harrisburg, PA (WENY)-- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, state lawmakers and activists honored victims of gun violence with a special remembrance ceremony inside the Capitol Wednesday evening. They also used the time to call on lawmakers to implement gun reform.
“We come here today to tell leaders in Washington and throughout the Country, that the time for talk is over, and the time for action is now. Right now,” Senator Casey (D-Pennsylvania) says.
The Capitol Rotunda was filled tonight with people echoing that message. There are several gun reform Bills sitting in both Harrisburg and Washington D.C, but with lawmakers on break, no action will be taken until the Fall. The Governor says he has certain expectations the next time the Legislature is in session.
“I’m calling for the swift passage of the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, it’s also known as the red flag law. I’m asking our general assembly to mandate universal background checks on all firearm purchases,” says Governor Wolf.
The Governor also called on the United States Senate to pass House Resolution 8, which would close background check loopholes at the federal level. Activist Groups like Ceasefire PA and Moms Demand Action were present and voiced their support for Governor Wolf’s calls. Schoolteacher Lauren Peck, who is a member of Moms Demand Action, says the gun-safe proposals are already there, the legislatures just need to act.
"We’re sitting on smarter gun laws that will save lives, protect the responsible gun owners, and yet we’re doing nothing about it," Peck explains.
Many Pennsylvania lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat were in attendance Wednesday evening and voiced their support. That includes Senators Anthony Williams (D-8) and Thomas Killion (R-9), and Rep. Todd Stephens (R-151) who are all proponents of gun control measures. Senator Williams became especially passionate during his speech, and said this needs to be a bipartisan issue.
"I don't care if you're Democrat, I don't care if you're Republican, I don't care whether you're from Philadelphia, whether you're from the suburbs or rural Pennsylvania, this is an indictment on humanity," Senator Williams says.
The Governor’s office said Wolf is open to calling a special session to address gun violence, but needs the commitment from Pennsylvania lawmakers that they will allow votes on gun reform measures.