Over the last few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many of you about what’s on your mind and time and time again the conversation comes back to guns and how we can prevent another tragedy. So, I’d like to share my thoughts on the issue with you today. First, here are some statistics to consider:
- More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in the U.S.;
- There are less than 150 annual gun homicides in Germany, Italy and France and more than 10,000 in the U.S.;
- A gun is 11 times more likely to be used in a suicide attempt and four times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting, death or injury than it is to injure or kill someone in self-defense;
- In 2012 about 1,300 people were shot in Philadelphia; and
- According to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 20 percent of U.S. law enforcement agents killed in the line of duty are killed with assault weapons.
To give the law enforcement community the tools they need to curb gun violence, I’ve introduced legislation that will ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in Pennsylvania. Additionally, I’m planning to re-introduce legislation for the 2013-2014 legislative session that would:
- Close the Florida Loophole;
- Set a mandatory, minimum sentence for carrying an illegal firearm;
- Temporarily bar someone who has been charged with a violent felony from purchasing or possessing a firearm; and
- Correct sentencing differences between adults and juveniles for serious offenses to greatly reduce firearm straw purchases.
In the coming weeks I will continue to keep you informed about my legislative progress, and if you have an opinion to share on this issue please feel free to send me an email or Facebook post.
I’ve included a few updates below, thank you for your support and please let me know if there is anything I can assist you with.
Sen. Larry Farnese
Helping People Stay in Their Homes
Penn’s Village is a non-profit community of Center City Philadelphia residents dedicated to helping people stay in their own homes as they age. Penn Village offers educational and social programs, transportation, light home maintenance, errand assistance and more. If you are interested in learning about Penn Village, or to volunteer, please call 215-925-7333 or visit www.pennsvillage.org.
Help our Seniors – Learn about Healthy Eating
The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, has a helpful new guide for older adults in Philadelphia. The guide includes information and phone numbers for home-delivered meals programs, box programs, details about getting help applying for SNAP (formerly food stamps) and more. Download a PDF copy at www.pcacares.org/foodresources.
Help Yourself – Get Free Money From LIHEAP
The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now accepting applications. So, if you think that you will have trouble paying your energy bills, submit your application right away. For more information, contact Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP hotline at 866-857-7095, Monday through Friday (individuals with hearing impairments can call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886).