Team Mission

Gun violence is an increasing danger in our country, with gun sales, mass shootings, and inner-city violence growing at record rates. We recognize that gun violence affects lower income communities disproportionately. We support the Black Lives Matter movement and we abhor unnecessary gun violence in all forms. We advocate for common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and look to build and work with a coalition of groups to spread the message of peaceful solutions to conflict.

Meeting Dates

Our Team meets via Zoom every month,
on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 PM

2021 Meeting Dates:

April 20
May 18
June 15
August 17
September 21
October 19
November 16

To attend our meetings onZoom:

From your PC, Mac, Linux,iOS or Android click this link:
https://zoom.us/j/7132347624

Or by phone:
1-408.638.0968 or646.558.8656

Meeting ID – 713-234-7624

A “Common Agenda” for 2021

 

Gun Violence in America is on the rise, and is a growing Public Health Crisis. It should be treated as such. America needs to take the same wholistic approach to this epidemic as we did with drunk driving, smoking, and the opioid crisis.

 

 

Gun violence claims the lives of about 1,600 Pennsylvanians each year. Our team’s approach in 2021 is to focus on supporting these four main policy initiatives. Items 1, 2, and 3 are the major points of the Common Agenda statewide coalition against gun violence, of which we are proud to be a part. (Click the item to open a more detailed guide on that topic.)

1. Universal Background Checks: Right now, in most states it is legal to sell guns privately without a background check, including long guns in Pennsylvania. We believe all sellers of firearms should undergo a universal background check.

2. ERPO (Extreme Risk Prevention Order): ERPOs permit the confiscation of firearms from someone presenting a danger to themselves or others.

3. Report Lost or Stolen Firearms to Police: This measure has proven to cut down on the illegal gun trade.

4. Firearms Safety Training Mandatory: We believe that in order to own a gun, one must be trained to use it safely.

Memorial to the Lost: Heeding God’s call, one of our partner GVP organizations has for years been displaying T shirts with the names of local gun violence victims. Shown here: the Unitarian Congregation of West Chester hosted the T shirts for two months in 2019.

UPDATE:

The Biden Administration has pulled the nomination

of David Chipman at ATF leader

 At this point, there is no new nominee, so this is a defeat for our cause.

BACKGROUND: One of the most important jobs of the ATF is to oversee and audit the vast amount of Federally licensed gun dealers in the US, and crack down on rogue gun dealers who are not following the law in regards to background checks and preventing gun trafficking. Unfortunately, the ATF is way behind on its inspections and has been relatively toothless during the current huge surge of gun sales. Our country needs an active ATF, and a smart and effective leader.
   

 

 FIGHTING THE GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC

 

UPDATE: Ghost Guns Await Proposed ATF Ruling

Time has run out this month on a chance for the public to comment on the proposed ATF ruling and reclassification on ghost guns (unassembled guns that can currently be purchased without a serial number and assembled at home). More and more ghost guns are showing up in crime across the country, and this trend is also a way to get around background checks. According to Everytown For Gun Safety, here is an explanation of the proposed new policy:

Under the proposed rule, ghost gun parts manufacturers and dealers who are engaged in the business of selling those parts would need to be federally licensed, the core building blocks marked with serial numbers, and purchasers would have to pass a background check before buying a ghost gun or the core building blocks of a ghost gun from a licensed dealer. 

Of course, we whole heartedly hope that the ATF follows through with this classification, and expect a decision soon. Stay tuned.

   

 

 

UPDATE: Gun Violence Prevention Programs are being funded — and it’s working! 

Inner city gun violence has really spiked across the country, increasing by 33% during the Pandemic! That is why one of President Biden’s executive actions on slowing down the Gun Violence Epidemic includes millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan to support evidence-based community violence intervention programs.

The money is starting to filter down to the state and local levels.  

PA Budget:  Passed $30 million dollars for programs throughout the Commonwealth in June, 2021
Philadelphia: like most big cities, has seen major increases in gun violence. Violence Intervention Programs are being financed two ways:
1. DA Larry Krasner– has seized $500,000 from a criminal investigations fund fueled by confiscations
   *$254,000  has been awarded to 10 community anti-violence groups, including-
Kicks Up, Guns Down: martial arts summer program, targeting elementary and middle school kids.  It has interactions with the local police,
and teaches age appropriate de-escalation techniques.
Yeah Philly: works with recently released at risk youth from juvenile detention centers
Asia Adams Save Our Children: deals with programs to reduce domestic violence
Philly Youth Basketball: beefing up the #1 sport among Philly youth after school, keeping kids off the streets
 
2. Mayor Jim Kenney and the Philadelphia City Commissioners: budgeting $22 million for more community anti-violence programs
Applications are currently open, and the winners of grant money will be announced in September.  
 
3. Anti Violence Programs in the US:
There have been success stories where gun violence has been significantly reduced.  
Advance Peace: in New York City pairs at risk youth with formerly incarcerated mentors, and offers rewards for good behavior.
These include monthly payments to keep out of trouble, get a GED, get a Driver’s License, etc.  The idea is that it is far less expensive
to make these payments then get youth caught up in the juvenile justice system after committing a crime.
Richmond VA has had a similar program for years, and has shown a 45% reduction in gun violence!
   

 

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY: 

Gun Violence News Across the Country

Summertime, 2021

The good: 

* Sandy Hook Families were offered $44 million to settle a lawsuit against Remington, which produced the ‘bushmaster AR-15’
used to massacre their children. They proved that you can take a gun manufacturer to court and win.
* NRA: had 12 board members resign since 2019 because of the financial malfeasance scandal exposed this past year
* Florida: revoked the conceal carry permits of 22 January 6th insurrectionists.
* Mexico: is suing 10 US gun companies for marketing and selling their guns to Mexicans.  70% of the guns used by the drug
cartels come from the US. 
* Delaware: has BANNED ghost guns.
* Colorado: passed two new gun safety laws:  Domestic Violence Restraining Order, and Expanded Background Checks.

The bad:

* July:  Washington Nationals Major League Baseball game stopped because of a shooting in the parking lot, injuring two.
Further proof that there is no safe place from gun violence in our country.
* Six states pass ‘permitless carry’ laws, granting their citizens the right to conceal carry with no vetting. Some PA legislators
want to do the same, but thankfully, Governor Wolf would veto such a dangerous bill.
* US Court of Appeals: rules use of handguns OK for 18-20 year olds, reversing a law passed in 1968 limiting handgun use to 
age 21 and above.
* California, one of the states with the strictest gun laws, does not have a law requiring safe storage. Two-thirds of California gun owners
with children under 18 do not store them safely.

The ugly:

* A  toddler finds Mommy’s gun, then shoots and kills her while she is on a live Zoom call in Florida.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Check back soon for updates!

Legislative Issues

Universal Background Checks:

State:

  • HB-235, 33 cosponsors
  • SB-88, 15 cosponsors

Federal:

  • HR8 – passed the US House
  • S529 – in the Senate; 45 cosponsors, all Democrats

 

Safe Storage:

State: HB-237, 18 cosponsors

Lost & Stolen Gun Reporting:

  • State Senate: SB217 – 12
  • State House: HB980 – 27

ERPO:

  • PA Senate SB134: 15 cosponsors

 

Gun Safety & Training:

  • PA House Bill HB237: Safe storage – 15 cosponsors

Let’s contact our PA House Reps and Senators and ask them to cosponsor these bills! Check here if unsure who your legislators are:

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legi s/home/findyourlegislator/

Partner Links

Local Groups

PA State Groups

National Groups

 

Resources

 

“Common Agenda” Topic Guides:

Additional Resources:

Read our recent Letter to the Editor, below:

(we encourage you to use this as inspiration for writing your own letter to your local newspapers!):

Strong Gun Laws in DC Prevented a Massacre

The true nature of the violence of the January 6th insurrection has become more obvious and frightening, after the impeachment managers displayed old and new video of that terrible day during the Senate trial. Many who attacked the Capitol were ex-military, and many connected to White Supremacy groups intent on serious mayhem, so the question that remains unanswered is, why was the death toll not higher? I suggest that Washington DC’s strong gun laws are the answer.

  • No firearms permitted in the Capitol Complex
  • No firearms permitted in the Mall area
  • No firearms permitted at the Ellipse, where outdoor speeches were given
  • No concealed carry permitted by those from out of state
  • No Open Carry of firearms

Indeed, some attackers brought arsenals of guns to DC in their cars, but left them there for fear of arrest. Without these strong gun laws, the insurrection could have been a blood bath.

This is further evidence that good gun laws do work. CeaseFirePA is working to build a coalition around a Common Agenda for Gun Violence Prevention based upon three proposals that have proven to reduce gun violence in states that have passed them into law:

1. Universal Background Checks
2. Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)
3. Report Lost and Stolen Guns – to cut down on illegal gun trade

These three initiatives have support from a vast majority of the American public. With gun violence becoming a greater threat nationally, and here in PA (gun deaths 25% higher over the last 20 years) common sense restrictions that do not infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners are needed to stem the tide of gun violence now more than ever. With over 100 organizations and growing, please join the coalition of voices calling for the Common Agenda to stem gun violence, and let your PA House member and PA Senator know that they should do the same.

-Tom Buglio, UUJusticePA

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Past Meeting Summaries

Reading the summaries of our past meetings is a great way to get started in learning more about our team and what we do. It’s also a handy resource for all our members. Please choose from the links below to learn more:

2021 Meeting Summaries:

  • January 19
  • February 16

Action Alerts

Click the links below for MORE easy ways you can help end gun violence, by taking action RIGHT NOW!