THE FACTS: In January 2013, following the Sandy Hook Tragedy, President Obama established a special Gun Violence Prevention Task Force under the leadership of Vice President Biden. The Task Force convened a series of meetings and briefings to gather information and establish a plan. One of those meetings was a gathering of gun violence prevention advocacy groups and victims and survivors of gun violence. CeaseFirePA was honored to participate.
THE GOOD NEWS:
Following the Task Force meetings, the President announced a plan, including legislative actions and executive actions to combat gun violence. Although the legislative agenda has not advanced beyond the April 2013 Senate vote and efforts to grow support in the House, to date more than 20 Executive Orders have been signed that are enabling progress in areas related to mental health treatment and reporting, research about gun violence, and law enforcement’s ability to trace crime guns. In June 2013, CeaseFirePA was present when Vice President Biden announced significant progress on 21 out of the initial 23 executive actions and released this progress report on its work to implement the plan. In addition in December 2013, two new Executive Orders were announced to make it easier to get mental health records into the background check system and to clarify the definitions related to how mental health history can lead to prohibited purchaser status.
MORE TO DO? Yes! We need to work to advance the legislative agenda at the state and federal levels.