Pennsylvania governor unveils sweeping executive order on gun violence

Pennsylvania governor unveils sweeping executive order on gun violence
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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) on Wednesday announced his intent to sign a sweeping executive order targeting gun violence.

“Too many Pennsylvanians are losing their lives to gun violence, and even more Pennsylvanians’ lives are being disrupted by the terror and fear caused by gun violence,” he said in a statement.

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“We simply are not doing enough to stop people from dying and to give communities the peace of mind that they deserve. This order will make sure the executive branch is doing more and focusing on gun violence as both a public safety problem and public health crisis. I will continue to engage the General Assembly in order to advance important gun safety reforms when they return to session.”

The nearly two dozen initiatives include new offices focused on violence prevention and reduction, safety programs and information sharing between agencies fighting gun violence.

Wolf acknowledged executive action is unlikely to be enough, and pledged to press the General Assembly to pass safe storage legislation to reduce the number of accidental shootings, red flag laws and universal background checks on all gun purchases.

The executive order announcement comes a week after two mass shootings wracked the country in a 24-hour period.

Those tragedies in Texas and Ohio, which left a combined 31 dead, have precipitated renewed calls for gun control legislation.

Wolf's statement highlighted the high rate of gun violence in Pennsylvania, noting that "more than 1,600 people died in Pennsylvania from gunshot wounds in 2017."