HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf announced that his executive order to reduce gun violence is making progress, including the appointment of members of a Special Council on Gun Violence.
“We cannot ignore that thousands of Pennsylvanians die from gun violence every year,” Gov. Wolf said. “I will continue to push for my administration to do all that it can to protect Pennsylvanians.”
Gov. Wolf took the unprecedented step to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania by signing an executive order in August addressing gun violence of all types in communities of every size. The executive order approaches gun violence from both public health and public safety through a multifaceted approach that includes boosting prevention programs, increasing data sharing and developing new training, and appointing a Special Council on Gun Violence tasked with developing a plan to reduce gun violence. The council will hold its first meeting in early October.
Special Council members, led by Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman Charles Ramsey include:
- Mikele Bay, Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee (CACAC)
- Marcus Brown, Pennsylvania Homeland Security
- Sen. Jake Corman, Senate Republicans
- Col. Robert Evanchick, Pennsylvania State Police
- Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, House Democrats
- Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Health
- Teresa Miller, Department of Human Services
- Rep. Eric Nelson, House Republicans
- Angela Parker-Quarles, Victims’ Services Advisory Committee (VSAC)
- Michael Pennington, PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency
- Charles Ramsey, PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Chair
- Pedro Rivera, Department of Education
- Jack Rozel, Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee (MHJAC)
- Helena Tuleya-Payne, School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC)
- Mike Vereb, Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC)
- Eric Weaknecht, Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Education and Training Board (SDSETB)
- Sen. Anthony Williams, Senate Democrats
- Robert Williams, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee (JJDPC)
In addition to appointing special council members, since the executive order was signed, the Wolf Administration has entered into a multi-state coalition to share data, charged the state’s Suicide Prevention Task Force with creating a Suicide Death Review Team when they convene on Sept. 30 and begun work on a data dashboard by gathering data sets that might be helpful in understanding the scope of violence in the commonwealth. The Violence Data Dashboard is expected to launch in January 2020.
The “Combatting Mass Shootings” component of the executive order called for Pennsylvania to join the States for Gun Safety, a coalition created in 2018 by governors Andrew M. Cuomo (New York), Dan Malloy (Connecticut), Phil Murphy (New Jersey) and Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island) to combat gun violence. Shortly after the formation, Delaware, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico joined the coalition. Pennsylvania is the eighth state to join.
The coalition is working to create a multi-state database to supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The database will help trace and intercept guns that are used in crimes or transported across state borders. The coalition also plans to create the first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium to study the issue of gun violence across multiple disciplines.
“I’m pleased to join states with strong gun laws and a willingness to share data so that Pennsylvania can enter into agreements that help us protect our residents and push for more commonsense gun safety laws at the federal level,” Gov. Wolf said. “Joining the coalition and moving ahead with our own data dashboard and efforts to prevent gun violence are all steps in the right direction toward protecting more Pennsylvanians.”
Source: Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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