Gov. Wolf Gun Violence Executive Order: What They’re Saying

August 16, 2019

Harrisburg, PA — Pennsylvanians heard directly today from leaders on gun safety and those from communities directly affected by gun violence about Governor Wolf’s executive action to prevent gun violence in all types of communities across Pennsylvania. Members of the General Assembly also joined Gov. Wolf in calling for legislative action to further prevent Pennsylvanians from dying of gunshot wounds.

Watch the highlights on Twitter and Facebook. See the whole press conference on YouTube.

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chair Charles Ramsey, Former Philadelphia Chief of Police
“The reality is, mass shootings take place every day on the streets of our cities, across the entire country. One person, two people here, three over there. All life has value. You don’t have to lose it in large quantities before we start to pay attention to something that is as pressing an issue as gun violence in our communities,” said Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chair Charles Ramsey, who has been named a special advisor on gun violence to the governor. “Something has to be done to reduce gun violence, whether it’s by criminals, whether it’s accidental, whether it’s suicide, whatever it is, we need to do everything we can to protect our people here. And, governor, I just want to thank you for taking the step to do it at the state level because if we wait around for the federal government to do it, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. By doing it here, in Pennsylvania, we can be the model for the rest of the country, and we will be the model for the rest of the country.”

Sen. Anthony Williams
“This governor has done something that no other elected official in this country has done. No president, no governor, no mayor has ever taken the politics out of whether you have the right to have a gun or not and recognized the dignity of human beings is first and more important,’ said Sen. Anthony Williams. “Today, rather than waiting and reacting, we are acting for the first time on behalf of a nation, and most important on behalf of a very, very scared public.

“Philadelphia, Erie, Harrisburg, York, Butler County, Clearfield County have all suffered this epidemic of gun violence either through suicides, domestic violence or community carnage like we’ve seen in Philadelphia. This is a stain on humanity. The fault line is that what we are required to do constitutionally, is to protect citizens, American citizens, foreign and domestically, we have failed. We have allowed our perspective on an inanimate object to be the focus of our attention – a gun – as opposed to the human beings being sacrificed to the altar of politics. Understand that this message is not about taking your gun. It’s about preserving a life.”

Sen. Jay Costa
“Let’s be clear: There has never been and probably won’t be for a long time a more meaningful, more significant executive order penned by any governor of this country than what we’re seeing today,” said Sen. Jay Costa. “On the legislative side, while we’ve not taken the steps we should have, we’re going to continue to fight on the Senate floor as we do every time we get there and we talk about what steps we can take as a legislative body to supplement or to complement the work the governor in this executive order will do.

“I call upon my colleagues as so many others have done over the course of the past several weeks to stand up, step forward, allow us to have a conversation and definition about some of these issues and how to move forward. If you don’t want to do it, let those of us who want to work – along with the folks who are here today whom I am so very proud to stand with – let us take the lead, let us address these issues. Let’s get to work and get things done.”

Rep. Jordan Harris
“I don’t care what political party you are a part of. I don’t care what religious faith you are a part of. There has to be something in the moral fiber for all of us that says the blood that is being shattered and the blood that is being shed all over this commonwealth is enough, and that we have to do something, something to address the pain and the carnage that far too many citizens are feeling,” said Rep. Jordan Harris. “So, governor, I appreciate and thank you not just for today but for all the stuff that we’ve done, and I apologize because this ain’t a political speech, because, I have to go home – I have to go home to a place where my life is not safe, and there’s far too many Pennsylvanians doing that on a daily basis. Whatever it takes. Whatever we have to do. Wherever we have to go, I will take any and everyone that wants to go because this must stop. It must end. There are far too many victims. There are far too many people who have lost their life to gun violence in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Time is out for the talk. We have to do action and we have to do it now.”

Rep. Dan Frankel
“I will tell you when I go to speak to my constituents, when I go to speak around the state, between what took place in Pittsburgh, what takes place daily on our streets, the mass shootings in Allentown and Philadelphia, what took place yesterday in Philadelphia with our police officers – the one thing I hear consistently is what are you going to do about it? What are you, our elected officials, going to do about it?” said Rep. Dan Frankel. “The people of Pennsylvania are begging us to do something to protect them from gun violence. And, today, Gov. Wolf answered that call.”

“I believe that these measures that the governor is proposing today, while falling short of what I think we should be doing as a legislature, will save lives. But they do not take the place of the reforms that the General Assembly has refused to take up. We currently have about two dozen reasonable, commonsense reform bills languishing in the House without so much as a committee hearing. There is so much more the Pennsylvania legislature can do to prevent tragedies.”

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