Law Enforcement, Domestic Violence, Minorities, Family Rights Organizations Support Veto of Life-threatening Bill in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – In the wake of Governor Tom Wolf’s veto on Senate Bill 565 yesterday, nearly a dozen law enforcement, domestic violence, minority and family advocacy organizations have expressed their support for the veto to repeal legislation that would have made it easier to transport concealed weapons throughout Pennsylvania. by unchecked gun owners.

Cease-fire PA:

“The General Assembly has attempted to make this and future holiday shopping seasons more dangerous by allowing anyone to carry a concealed firearm, no permit is required. While Governor Wolf’s veto will thankfully keep it from becoming law, neither of us should think that’s enough. Until the legislature sends one of the many evidence-based solutions awaiting debate and a vote in the General Assembly to the governor’s office for a signature, more Pennsylvanians will die from this crisis of preventable public health, ”said Adam Garber, executive director of CeaseFirePA.

Office of the Victims Advocate:

“As a Commonwealth Victim Advocate with the duty and authority to advocate for the rights and needs of survivors of crime, it is difficult to view the firearms license requirement as blatant or interfering with the natural rights of law-abiding citizens, especially in the same week as the citizens of Pennsylvania face the death of a 14-year-old boy who was shot dead at a bus stop, ”said Suzanne V. Estrella, Commonwealth Victims Advocate. “I hope that as a community we will find ways to seek and pursue peace. “

Moms ask for action:

Gun violence is a public health crisis in Pennsylvania, but when common sense gun safety measures were on the table, state lawmakers instead forced a dangerous hidden transportation bill without allowed, ”said Erin Buchner, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. . “We are very grateful to Governor Wolf for vetoing this nefarious legislation and for ending this bad faith effort to weaken our gun laws. The message is clear: Pennsylvania lawmakers should spend their time promoting gun safety, not trying to dismantle it. “

Pennsylvania Association of Police Chiefs:

“We are opposed to any law that increases risk to law enforcement and the public. This law would lower the bar for unlicensed people to carry concealed weapons while they walk the streets and undermine the Commonwealth’s system for responsible gun ownership. If this bill had passed, it would have made the job of our law enforcement officers more difficult and more dangerous. It’s not good public policy, ”said Pennsylvania Association of Chiefs of Police executive director Scott Bohn. “We need to reduce the frequency with which we engage armed citizens, with this bill we would be – in fact – doing the exact opposite. “

Chester Community Coalition:

“Having to support families in the aftermath of gun violence – helping them cope with the grief, fear, confusion and pain it causes – it is important for us to see their safety and well-being. be protected. The Chester Community Coalition welcomes actions that help create a safer and more peaceful world, ”commented Alexia Clarke, Executive Director of the Chester Community Coalition.

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV):

“The PCADV applauds Governor Wolf’s veto on SB 565. Firearms are used in more than half of domestic violence homicides each year in Pennsylvania. Any law that expands and facilitates access to firearms exposes victims of domestic violence, their families and communities to needlessly increased risk and danger.

Lehigh Valley Promise Neighborhoods:

“With an increase in the number of firearms in Pennsylvania [legal and illegal]we have also seen an increase in gun violence in Commonwealth communities. Gun violence disproportionately harms black communities, and vetoing this bill is a big step forward in addressing this public safety crisis. Thank you, Governor Wolf, for your leadership and dedication in addressing this issue, ”said Dr Hasshan Batts, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs.

Women against abuse:

“As a domestic violence service provider, we are concerned about this legislation as it currently exists due to the deadly intersection of guns and domestic violence,” said Joanna Otero-Cruz, Executive Director and President of Women Against Abuse. “Research has shown that women in abusive relationships are five times more likely to be killed by their partner if they own a gun.,and intimate partner homicides increased by 25% in 2020. It is clear that the lack of enforcement of firearms laws is lacking for victims of domestic violence, and we are concerned that the proposed legislation may worsen a dangerous situation. “

PGH sisters:

“Gun violence continues to play a significant role in hate crimes against trans women here in Pennsylvania. The majority of trans women who have been taken from us have been murdered with guns. In all of these cases of gun violence against trans women, cis men have been the perpetrators. We recently lost a black trans woman, Angel Murray, who resided in Aliquippa, PA. Angel was strangled and then shot in the head without remorse. These acts of violence would only increase if the guns were more easily concealed, ”commented Ciora Thomas, Executive Director, SisTers PGH, Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

Asian American Health Coalition:

“Today we have too much gun violence and too many hateful anti-Asian incidents in the Greater Philadelphia area and across the country. As the Asian American leader of a nonprofit serving the elderly sponsoring academy and leadership programs for youth, gun safety and violence prevention are vital to our community. I would like to see our seniors and our children live their lives in a safe and healthy environment, ”said George Choe, president of the Asian American Coalition for Health.

National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter (NASW-PA):

“Social workers see first-hand the impact of gun violence on its victims, the families and loved ones left behind, and the communities affected. The consequences are damaging to the overall mental and physical health of the Commonwealth. In the face of this unprecedented public health crisis, Pennsylvania should strengthen its gun violence prevention policies rather than reduce or eliminate our existing measures to protect the public from harm, ”said Johanna Byrd, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter.

CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA: Elizabeth Rementer, ra-gvgovpress@pa.gov

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