SQUIRREL HILL STANDS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT BIDEN'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS ON GUN SAFETY

We are deeply moved by President Biden’s courage and his heart. The President has a long track record on gun safety, and in his speech today, he showed us yet again how much he cares.

President Biden's executive actions (EOs) reflect what can be done without legislation. The EOs include: (1) a requirement for background checks for all purchasers of "ghost guns", homemade firearms often assembled from kits and lacking serial numbers. For years, federal officials have been sounding the alarm about an increasing black market for homemade, military-style semi-automatic rifles and handguns; (2) a rule designating pistols used with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which require a federal license to own and are subject to a more thorough application process and a $200 tax. This type of pistol was used in the recent massacre in Boulder, CO; (3) publication within 60 days of model “red flag” legislation, which if adopted by the states would allow police officers and family members to petition courts to temporarily remove firearms from people who may present a danger to themselves or others; (4) a change in Justice Department policy to provide more information on firearms trafficking; and (5) investments in violence intervention programs aimed at reducing gun violence in urban communities, across five federal agencies. Mr. Biden also announced that he is nominating David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Mr. Chipman has advocated for common sense gun safety measures, most notably a ban on assault weapons and is an outstanding appointment to head ATF.

But the President’s remarks went much further. As he said, we need Congress to:(1) close the loopholes that allow people who shouldn’t have guns to evade background checks when purchasing guns; (2) close the Charleston loophole, which allows people to purchase their gun if the background check is not completed in three days; (3) get guns out of the hands of abusers by denying a license to people who are under court order for domestic violence; and(4) ban assault rifles and large-capacity magazines.

The President made it clear that he understands the challenges he faces, but, he said, “We are not going to give up!

And neither are we. Specifically, as Pennsylvanians, we thank Senator Casey for his leadership on gun safety, and we call upon Senator Toomey to step up. By supporting this legislation, Senator Toomey can end his term of public service with a meaningful legacy as a gun safety advocate.

“We ask that the memories of our loved ones be a blessing to the living. We urge Senator Toomey to push forward on sensible gun laws so that his legacy on gun safety will in fact be a blessing.” says Miri Rabinowitz, whose husband Jerry was murdered in the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue.

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© 2019 Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence

Pittsburgh, PA