HARRISBURG, Penn. — Today, Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton, Representative Jen O’Mara, Senators Jay Costa and Anthony Williams, and Moms Demand Action Executive Director Angela Ferrell-Zabala joined over a hundred Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers as they called for legislative action on gun safety during their annual advocacy day in Harrisburg. Gun Safety advocates called on the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass HB 1018 and HB 714 which seek to establish an Extreme Risk law, sometimes known as a “Red Flag” law, and expand the Commonwealth’s background check requirement to cover sales of all firearms by unlicensed sellers.
“The majority of Pennsylvanians believe that we need stronger gun safety laws, and expect their lawmakers to act with courage to address the public health crisis of gun violence head-on,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Thanks to the tireless advocacy of Moms Demand Action volunteers, survivors, and gun safety advocates, gun sense champions in the House have passed legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales and allow people to act on warning signs before tragedy strikes. We urge the Senate to prioritize the public safety of their constituents, and take the next step to turn these life-saving bills into law.”
“For over a decade our grassroots movement has shifted the political calculus in Pennsylvania and across the country, showing widespread support for strong gun safety laws. Now, we need lawmakers to act,” said Ellen Ochs, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s time for the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass common-sense gun safety legislation that puts our families first and promotes public safety for communities across the Commonwealth. We look forward to working with legislators to send HB 1018 and 714 to Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk.”
Moms Demand Action volunteers throughout our nation have been at the forefront of calling on lawmakers to take action and pass additional proactive measures that will save lives, helping pass laws in states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois. This comes after Moms Demand Action volunteers had major success this past election cycle — across the country 150 Moms Demand Action volunteers won their race for office, and gun violence prevention proved to be a winning issue — including in Pennsylvania.
In an average year in Pennsylvania, 1,713 people die by guns. With a rate of 13.1 deaths per 100,000 people, Pennsylvania has the 33rd-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. Gun violence costs Pennsylvania $21.7 billion each year, of which $470.7 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Pennsylvania is available here.