Urges state lawmakers to adopt similar, life-saving measures in PA

HARRISBURG –  January 5, 2016 – State Sen. Larry Farnese today said he welcomed President Barack Obama’s executive orders on background checks for gun purchases.

The Democratic Philadelphia lawmaker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the president’s executive decision is a good step towards curtailing the gun tragedies that have occurred across the country.

“Enough blood has been shed and lives lost because of the nearly unfettered access to guns in Pennsylvania and throughout America. The president is right in his decision to do something when so many others have refused to help,” Sen. Farnese said.

“This isn’t about taking away the guns people own. It’s about making it so much harder for those with bad intentions to obtain weapons they don’t know how to use or plan to turn against innocent and unsuspecting Americans.

“How many Sandy Hooks; Virginia Techs; San Bernardinos; or Roseburg, Oregons have to happen before someone does something to try to protect the safety of people who should never be subjected to gun violence?” Farnese asked.

In a recent op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Farnese urged Pennsylvania lawmakers to adopt common sense gun reform that forces people to demonstrate knowledge of the weaponry they’ve purchased and to earn a permit for carrying concealed weapons.

The lawmaker has also fought to improve gun safety in Pennsylvania through the introduction or co-sponsorship of “common sense” gun bills in Harrisburg, including:

  • Legislation to increase penalties for people who commit gun violence, carry unlicensed firearms, and participate in straw purchases.
  • Legislation to ban assault weapons and strengthen background checks (a measure he plans to reintroduce in the near future).
  • A proposal to prevent people from buying or possessing firearms if they’ve been charged with a violent felony. And,
  • Working with the Gun Violence Task Force and district attorneys in southeastern Pennsylvania to establish tougher sentencing laws for people convicted of carrying an unlicensed firearm. A similar measure has helped to significantly lower gun violence in New York City.

Farnese has also supported proposals in Harrisburg to strengthen background checks and to report lost or stolen firearms.

“Quite clearly, there are many actions we can take in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. to help stop senseless gun violence in Pennsylvania and throughout America,” Sen. Farnese said. “It’s good that President Obama is taking action. Pennsylvania lawmakers must act, too.”

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