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PITTSBURGH, PA (December 14, 2018) Demanding strong action against the proliferation of guns tearing apart Pittsburgh and other communities nationwide, City of Pittsburgh leaders today released a trio of common-sense measures meant to make city streets, schools, places of worship and families safer.
Governor Tom Wolf and Mayor William Peduto joined City Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger – who together represent Squirrel Hill, site of the massacre of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue Oct. 27 – to unveil three bills that will be introduced to Council on Tuesday.
Joined by gun violence victims, advocates and state leaders, the leaders announced the measures today on the anniversary of the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, massacre of 26 schoolchildren and staff. The bills will be subject to weeks of debates and hearings with the hope they can be approved by February 14, 2019, the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting of 17 schoolchildren and staff in Parkland, Florida.
Mayor Peduto has asked cities around the country to support Pittsburgh’s measures and/or introduce similar legislation to create nationwide momentum behind the critically needed gun changes. Councilperson Strassburger and Councilman O'Connor are reaching out to municipalities across Pennsylvania to encourage them to adopt similar provisions.
“I stand in solidarity with all those in Pittsburgh and across the commonwealth looking to make their communities safer,” Governor Wolf said. “Earlier this year, I signed the first major gun safety bill in decades in Pennsylvania. It was long overdue, but we still have a lot of work to do, in Harrisburg and in Washington. I’ll continue to champion commonsense gun safety at the state level and urge Washington to live up to its responsibilities.”
“No one in America wants a country where guns make our schools unsafe for children, families afraid in places of worship, and where our streets are stained every day with innocent blood,” Mayor Peduto said. “The morality we all share, across every race, gender, ethnicity, region and religion, compels us to take action.”
“As gun violence escalates across the country, it would be unconscionable for me to stand by and do nothing,” said Councilman O’Connor, who crafted the gun legislation package. “I believe we are on the right side of history here and must seize the opportunity to make a real difference by partnering with other municipalities in the Commonwealth and cities across America to enact common sense gun reforms.”
"As an elected leader, my most important duty is keeping my constituents and communities safe. This legislation will help to prevent military grade weapons from reaching the hands of dangerous individuals," said Councilperson Strassburger, who co-sponsored the legislation.
"The Pennsylvania Constitution guarantees the rights of all people to 'peace, safety and happiness.' The inability for municipal governments to enact their own common sense gun control measures defies this core principle. I hope more cities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the entire nation will join Pittsburgh in this critical effort."