Harrisburg reacts to recent shooting

Local News

After 11 people were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, some are renewing their calls for change.

Pennsylvania lawmakers have been pushing for tougher gun laws in our state and are joined by advocate groups from across the commonwealth.

Advocacy groups said while they want to wait until more facts about the shooter come out, there are some laws they say need to be addressed next session.

“As a Jew, to have it happen in a synagogue during Sabbath services was particularly jarring,” said Shira Goodman, Executive Director of Ceasefire PA. “The one thing I wasn’t was surprised.”

Goodman says shootings like the one in Pittsburgh on Saturday have become all too familiar. She now hopes to see lawmakers take a serious look at banning high capacity magazines and military style weapons.

“These are the weapons of choice for mass shooters,” said Goodman. “Over and over again, you hear about the AR-15.”

A gun that can be purchased in Pennsylvania without a background check as long as you buy it from a private seller. Last year, Republican Representative Jamie Santora introduced a bill to close that loophole.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Santora. “Why you can buy one gun from a licensed dealer and have to get a background check, and be able to go and buy the same gun from a private seller and not need it.”

House Bill 1400 never made it out of committee.

“We are now turning our attention to passing a background check bill and a red flag bill,” said Marybeth Christiansen, with Moms Demand Action.

Christiansen says they plan to keep a spotlight on the issue of guns. She’s hopeful this time real change can take place.

“Am I frustrated with the progress? Yes. But, am I frustrated that it’s going to happen? No. It’s going to happen,” said Christiansen.

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