Harrisburg, PA –
According to the press release, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order this morning making sweeping changes in executive branch agencies and programs to better target the public health crisis of gun violence in Pennsylvania. He was joined by advocates, legislators, cabinet secretaries and Charles Ramsey, chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
Courtesy photo: Governor Tom Wolf
The governor stated, “Too many Pennsylvanians are dying from gun violence. We need to fix our weak gun laws and pass reforms focused on increasing safety and reducing danger to our citizens.” Gov. Wolf said. “The action I am announcing today includes provisions for Pennsylvanians of all walks of life and looks at gun violence from all angles.” According to the Governor, more than 1,600 people died in Pennsylvania from gunshot wounds in 2017, a rate above the national average.
The governor ordered Ramsey as Senior Advisor. Ramsey will lead a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the PCCD. Within 60 days a Special Council on Gun Violence will meet to begin to develop a plan to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania.
The executive order also creates the Division of Violence Prevention. These two new offices will work together under the Department of Health to tackle gun violence from both the gun safety and public health perspectives.
According to the press release, he will also call upon the General Assembly to pass safe storage legislation to reduce the number of accidental shootings, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, also known as the red flag law, lost and stolen gun reporting, and universal background checks by the Pennsylvania State Police on all gun purchases.
The Executive Order will immediately implement the following:
Special Council on Gun Violence
New Oversight and Data Sharing
Reducing Community Gun Violence
Combatting Mass Shootings
Halting Domestic Violence-Related and Self-Inflicted Shootings