Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced Wednesday that he will sign a “sweeping executive order to reduce gun violence,” and will unilaterally implement a series of gun control regulations in his state.
What are the details?
The governor’s office issued a press release saying the executive action would involve “nearly two dozen new initiatives and reforms” in four categories: new oversight and data sharing; reducing community gun violence; combatting mass shootings; and address the rising number of gun-related domestic incidents and self-inflicted shootings.
The news bulletin did not provide details or language of the order, which is set to be signed on Thursday. It did, however, state that the measures would involve creating new state offices to enforce the governor’s initiatives.
“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,” Wolf said in a statement. “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 governor’s office went on to reiterate his support of a federal assault weapons ban, and added that he would press for the General Assembly to pass a red flag law, a firearm storage mandate, and a statewide universal background check system.
The press release concluded: “Governor Wolf recognizes the Second Amendment but believes all Americans and Pennsylvanians have the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that also must be protected. The executive action he will take tomorrow will provide a greater protection for all Pennsylvanians by targeting various types of gun violence with both preventative and proactive programs.”
The move by Gov. Wolf doesn’t come as an entire shock, considering he “has long supported a wide range of gun-control and anti-violence measures,” according to WCAU-TV. But as The Hill noted, recent mass murders in Texas and Ohio have prompted renewed calls for gun control from Democrats — and even some Republicans, who have been staunch Second Amendment supporters in the past.
Gov. Wolf’s announcement was made before a shootout in Philadelphia on Wednesday, which left multiple police officers wounded.