Since Sunday, both The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Patriot-News have editorialized in favor of gun safety legislation following hearings on gun violence prevention last week in Harrisburg.
Lawmakers heard testimony on Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, which has been shown to reduce the risk of firearm suicide. Both Senate Bill 90 and House Bill 1075 propose Extreme Risk legislation for Pennsylvania, but the latter has reportedly been blocked by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Rob Kauffman. Instead, the House Judiciary Committee advanced House Bill 1066, legislation that would undermine local officials and law enforcement officers who want to fight the gun violence epidemic in their communities.
Yesterday, The Patriot-News denounced Rep. Kauffman’s actions:
“Kauffman is standing in the way of getting what millions of very reasonable people are demanding as a logical step to reduce gun violence – passing “red flag” laws.
Kauffman’s committee would have to act on the legislation before it can go to the full House for a vote. His decision to not allow that move creates a major obstacle to what many see as a vital step to help prevent needless deaths from gun violence.”
And this morning, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote:
“The committee also advanced bills that would make it easier to travel in a motor vehicle with a firearm without a permit, remove the requirement that tasers have a label with an instruction of use, and allow individuals and organizations like the National Rifle Association to sue localities that pass gun related ordinances (a similar law passed in 2014 and the Pa. Supreme Court struck it down on procedural grounds).
Instead of moving forward to make our communities safer, lawmakers are trying to cozy up to the NRA by turning back the clock. Mandatory minimums and more state preemption is not the solution to gun violence — it is a part of the problem.”
There is still a path forward for Senate Bill 90 and these editorials send a clear message to Pennsylvania lawmakers: If you’re not standing up for common-sense gun safety legislation, you’re standing in the way.
If you have any questions about Extreme Risk legislation, House Bill 1066 or would like to speak with a volunteer with Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action, don’t hesitate to reach out.