Philadelphia, Jan. 16, 2013 — CeaseFirePA, a coalition of Pennsylvanians, mayors, police chiefs, faith leaders, and community organizations, and one of the groups that met with Vice President Biden last week, echoed President Obama’s call for the American people to demand action to fight gun violence. CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman explained, “To change the status quo, we must make our voices heard.

That’s why we are bringing Pennsylvanians to the Capitol in Harrisburg on January 23, 2013 at noon. Our elected officials must hear from us.”

CeaseFirePA’s common sense agenda for fighting gun violence in Pennsylvania in many ways tracks the agenda the President outlined today. “We support closing the private seller loophole and requiring background checks for all gun sales as well as ammunition sales. If someone is afraid to get a background check, there’s probably a very good reason they should not be allowed to purchase a gun,” Goodman said. CeaseFirePA also supports a ban on military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, whether accomplished through federal or state action.

According to CeaseFirePA, there are some critical steps Pennsylvania can take right away to make our communities safer, including sharing more than 600,000 mental health records from our database with the federal background check system. This would ensure that information that bars someone from purchasing a gun is widely shared across the nation.

As President Obama and Vice President Biden made clear, we have an obligation to act to protect our children and our communities. The federal package outlined today is critical movement ahead. But states like Pennsylvania have an important role to play as well. “Most important,” said Goodman, “we, as citizens, must get involved. Our elected officials need a reason to act. Give them that reason. Please join us in taking a stand against gun violence – starting in Harrisburg on January 23.”