Community members gathered on Dec. 8, at state Sen. Frank Farry’s office, 370 E. Maple Avenue in Langhorne, to remember and honor those lost to the gun violence epidemic. Attendees unveiled a banner with the faces of Pennsylvanians supporting gun safety reform.
This event took place 200 days after the PA House passed two lifesaving, bipartisan gun violence prevention bills. However, no action has been taken by Senate leaders, with more Pennsylvanians dying from firearm violence daily.
“These bills have sat in the Senate Judiciary Committee collecting dust when they could be saving the lives of those we have lost to gun violence,” said Sarah Jones, CeaseFirePA Education Fund organizer. “Every day the Senate waits, Pennsylvanians die preventable deaths to gun violence. People in Bucks County are dying while the Senate waits to act.”
Colleen Campbell, long-term care manager for the Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership, urged passage of Extreme Risk Protection Orders: “If someone has expressed or exhibited behavior that would harm themselves or others, then they need not only mental health support, but a way to take a weapon from their reach — immediately!”
This vigil was one of six organized by CeaseFirePA Education Fund with local partners across the commonwealth. It built on the recent launch of a new campaign to put increasing pressure on Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lisa Baker and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman to schedule a hearing, then a vote, on the pending legislation: House Bill 1018 to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders, and House Bill 714 to enact universal background checks.
Also in attendance at the vigil was Pennsylvania’s Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Red Wine & Blue and League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania.