Gun violence is an epidemic in our country. The Second Amendment wasn't written for silencers and automatic weapons. Firearms have changed, and so too must our relationship with them, including the laws that keep us safe from gun violence. It's well past time for us all to take a stand and fight for policy change in America. Below are actions you can take at the National and State level to bring about common sense reforms of firearms-related law, and to fight the gun violence crisis in America.
URGENT ACTIONS FOR PA:
THIS WEEK: SB 501 and other gun violence prevention measures move the House This Tuesday, June 19, the House Judiciary Committee will vote on several gun violence prevention measures, including SB501/HB2060 (keeping guns out of hands of domestic abusers), HB1400 (universal background check) HB1872 (bump stock ban) and HB2227 (Extreme Risk Protection Order, which allows families or law enforcement to petition for immediate removal of firearms for people in immediate danger to themselves or others). Here’s what you can do:
Join Moms Demand Action and others in Harrisburg at the Judiciary Committee hearingon Tuesday, 9am, Room 140 Main Capital.
Please, even if you have called before, call, email and tweet at your PA State Rep and demand that s/he take action to prevent gun violence. Take a moment to find out if your state representative is on the Judiciary Committee. If any of these bills get out of committee on Tuesday, call Turzai and Reed to demand that they bring them to the floor for a full vote.
The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed.
In 54 percent of mass shootings from 2009-2016, the shooters killed intimate partners or other family members.
Responses to domestic abuse calls were the number-one cause of police officer fatalities from 2010-2014.
School Safety Discussions In March, the House Education Committee convened a hearing to discuss school safety. Cease Fire PA, Education Law Center, and other opponents of guns in schools were banned from testifying. Meanwhile, pro-gun teachers and administrators were given the floor. One superintendent shared his school's safety plan - give each classroom a 5 gallon bucket of rocks and ask the children to "stone" intruders. This is totally unacceptable. It's time for legislators to get serious. Tell your legislators to give schools real resources, not guns: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pa-lawmakers-arm-schools-with-resources-not-guns
Other Pennsylvania Actions:
In the wake of the Parkland High School shooting, the Florida assembly passed sweeping reforms around firearms. The Pennsylvania assembly has the power to do the same thing, and must, or the next shooting could be here. Here are ways you can help create this change:
See if your legislator is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus: http://www.pahouse.com/PASafe. If he/she isn’t, call to ask why. Look up your legislator here: http://bit.ly/PAstatereps.
STOP the NRA's Favorite Lawyer from Becoming a Federal Judge.The NRA spent an unprecedented amount of money to elect Donald Trump as president—and he has rewarded them by nominating their go-to attorney as a federal judge for life. If confirmed, Howard Nielson could decide issues that shape the law for a generation to come. That’s a huge problem, because he regularly defends the NRA in court and has a pro-torture, anti-LGBT record. The Senate can block him, but only if we pressure them. More info and talking points here. OPPOSE the Deregulation of Silencers contained within the SHARE Act.
One of the ways police were able to quickly locate the shooter in Las Vegas was by the sound and flash from his weapons when he fired. Neither of these things would have been perceivable had he been using a silencer. The sound of the gun fire also cued concert goers to seek cover and protect one another, helping survivors save their own lives along with countless others. Currently, the US Congress is considering legislation called the SHARE Act that, among other things, would remove most regulations around silencers, a move opposed by both military and police forces. Action:
Write your representative and ask them to remove the remove the gun silencer provision from the SHARE Act because we shouldn't be making it easy for convicted felons and domestic abusers to buy guns silencers without a back ground check. See link at right to send a letter now.
Call your representative and demand the same thing. Dial 202-224-3121, opt 2 to be connected with your Congressperson.
Text SILENCER to 64433 to join Everytown in their fight against this measure.
OPPOSE Concealed Carry Reciprocity US Senate Bill 446 would "force all 50 states to allow stalkers, domestic abusers, and people with no safety training to carry hidden, loaded guns in public -- even the legally blind." (credit Everytown) This dangerous legislation is a step in the wrong direction. SB 446 is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee, so neither of our Senators can oppose at the moment. However, it would be useful to express your disapproval for the bill now, as things can change quickly. Action:
Call your Senator and tell them to oppose SB 446, Concealed Carry Reciprocity, should it ever come to the floor. Toomey: 202-224-4254. Casey: 202-224-6324. Script: "Hello, my name is ____. I'm a constituent from ________. I'm calling to ask you to vote no on SB 446, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill, should it ever come to the floor. Thank you."
SUPPORT a Federal Ban on Bump-Stocks, the firearm modification that allows some guns to fire as quickly as automatic weapons (see explanation here). Bump-stocks were found on 12 of the weapons used in the Las Vegas shooting, and are what allowed the shooter to injure and kill so many people in such a short amount of time. Legislation with bi-partisan support for a ban on bump-stocks has been proposed in both the House and the Senate. Action:
Call your legislator and tell them that you support a ban on bump-stocks. Find phone numbers and scripts at 5 Calls.
Send a letter to your legislators asking them to support the ban. See link at right to send a letter now.
Ask Your Representatives to Return NRA Campaign Contributions. Ask your legislator to donate any campaign contributions he received from the NRA to a Gun Violence Prevention organization like Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Center for Gun Violence Prevention, Mom's Demand Action PA, or Cease Fire PA. Then ask him to commit to never accepting NRA or other Firearm Advocacy group contributions again. As of October 6th, Congressmen Tim Ryan and Tim Walz donated money to charitable organizations in the amount of campaign donations they had received from the NRA. (story here) It's time for us to break the strangle-hold the NRA has on this country, and one way to do that is to take away its financial power. Demand that your legislator return his or her contributions as well. Action:
Check this list to see how much your representative has received from the NRA. [Note, according to the NY Times, Congressman Llyod Smucker from Pennsylvania has accepted over $220,000 from the NRA over his career, not just the amount shown in the Washington Post tool. That's the 7th highest amount in the US House.] Then...
Call your legislator (find their contact info here) and demand that they donate those contributions to charity and pledge to stop accepting NRA money moving forward.
SUPPORT funding for the CDC to research gun violence prevention and gun safety. "In 1996, the Republican-majority Congress threatened to strip funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unless it stopped funding research into firearm injuries and deaths. The National Rifle Association accused the CDC of promoting gun control. As a result, the CDC stopped funding gun-control research — which had a chilling effect far beyond the agency, drying up money for almost all public health studies of the issue nationwide." (Washington Post, read more) As a result, we know basically nothing about how to effectively prevent gun violence of any type. Legislation (H.R.1832/S.834) has been proposed that would fund $10 million for the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence prevention and firearm safety. Your legislators need to know that you support these bills. Action: Call or email your legislators and ask them to support H.R. 1832 / S. 834.
Script/Text: "Hello my name is _____________ and I’m a constituent from ____________. Please support H.R.1832/S.834 —a bill that will fund $10 million for the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence prevention and firearm safety. Gun violence in our country is at historic proportions. We need to know why and how to effectively stop it. Thank you."
Support Federal Senate bill S1539, which would remove guns from those convicted of domestic abuse and stalking. Ask your Senator to cosponsor. To contact your Senator through Everytown, text ENOUGH to 64433 (you’ll get a call back with instructions on what to say, and then be connected to your senator’s office to make your statement), or write them a message by using at form at http://every.tw/2hgcItq.
You can also contact your Senators on your own by phone, email, or fax. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.