HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Hundreds of anti-violence advocates gathered on Tuesday, April 26, at the Capitol steps in Harrisburg, pushing for lawmakers to do more to help lower violent crime. CeaseFirePA organized Tuesday’s rally as part of “Take a Stand Against Gun Violence” and they are calling for lawmakers to address Pennsylvania’s violence crisis.
Governor Tom Wolf was on hand and he said executive orders alone will not get the job done. “Time and time again, I have called on Republican legislatures in the General Assembly to take action for common sense and widely supported measures,” Gov. Wolf said.
Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams says the time to take action is now. For her, it is personal. She lost her granddaughter to gun violence.
“I think of her as not being a woman, not being a mother, and not being a wife, but she was taken from us,” Mayor Williams said.
Many say the Republican-controlled House and Senate are not concerned about gun violence and they refuse to pass meaningful legislation.
Jason Gottesman, a House Republican spokesperson, says Pennsylvania has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation when they are enforced. “You have Left-leaning elected local leaders who have spent years now defending the police and progressive prosecutors who refuse to enforce the laws that are on the books.”
In the end, some remain hopeful lawmakers can find common ground on expanding background checks prior to a gun purchase.