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.
Our Team meets via Zoom every month,
on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 PM
2021 Meeting Dates:
To attend our meetings onZoom:
From your PC, Mac, Linux,iOS or Android click this link:
Or by phone:
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.
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.
FIGHTING THE GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC
UPDATE: Ghost Guns Await Proposed ATF Ruling
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.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY:
Gun Violence News Across the Country
* A toddler finds Mommy’s gun, then shoots and kills her while she is on a live Zoom call in Florida.
Check back soon for updates!
Universal Background Checks:
- HB-235, 33 cosponsors
- SB-88, 15 cosponsors
- HR8 – passed the US House
- S529 – in the Senate; 45 cosponsors, all Democrats
State: HB-237, 18 cosponsors
Lost & Stolen Gun Reporting:
- State Senate: SB217 – 12
- State House: HB980 – 27
- 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:
PA State Groups
- Giffords for Gun Safety
- Everytown for Gun Safety
- Brady United
- Guns Down America
- Sandy Hook Promise
- Doctors for America
“Common Agenda” Topic Guides:
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
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:
Click the links below for MORE easy ways you can help end gun violence, by taking action RIGHT NOW!
- Let’s get your UU Congregation to join the Common Agenda Coalition! We have currently two UU Congregations on the Common Agenda Coalition. Here is the letter I sent to my minister and leaders in my UU. Please consider doing the same and use this letter as a model to write your own.
- Call to action: Sign the petition – no firearms on the Capitol Grounds!
- We need your help against “ghost guns,” unregistered firearms assembled at home by consumers from readily available, unregulated “parts.” “Ghost guns” are legal and can be made in just an hour with no background check required. Please join us in telling President Biden that the “ghost gun” loophole must be CLOSED! https://ceasefirepa.salsalabs.org/ghostgunsbiden/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=edbb65ef-6785-4773-976b-645767bf552d
- Check out “Legislation We Support” in the right-hand column of this page. Let’s contact our PA House Reps and Senators and ask them to cosponsor these bills! Check here if you’re unsure who your legislators are: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/