Philadelphia House Delegation amplifying tactical pressure on gun safety reforms

The organization is advancing legislation aimed at lessening the gun violence crisis

PHILADELPHIA, March 30 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the organization is aggressively working on key actions that will boost prevention efforts and regulate reckless gun access in the commonwealth as part of a strategic plan to put a halt on the gun violence crisis that is assaulting the city.

Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas, who was not able to attend today’s news conference, explained earlier that the delegation was implementing a strategic plan to put a halt on the gun violence crisis that is assaulting the city.

“Ending gun violence is a top priority for us. We're approaching this with a multi-pronged strategy, working closely with our state and city stakeholders. We cannot wait any longer to take action. Gun violence is preventable,” Cephas said. 

Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, explained that the institution has also formed a strong alliance with gun control advocacy groups in order to amplify efforts to combat gun violence.

“Gun violence is not a responsibility that pertains to one person or one organization, this is a task for all of us,” Burgos said. “Public safety is everyone's responsibility. We are grateful to count on the powerful input of organizations like CeaseFire PA and Every Murder is Real, but also families of victims and survivors of gun violence who are incessantly raising awareness about this issue,” Burgos said.

On the same note, Rep. Joseph C. Hohenstein, delegation secretary, who also was not able to attend, has highlighted the importance of keeping relevant the testimonies of the people who have experienced gun violence firsthand.

“I hosted an event recently where we looked at the crisis of gun violence through the lens of disability, and it really opened my eyes, heart and mind to the impact of gun violence in our communities," Hohenstein said.

"We have to listen to survivors if we want our work to be truly effective. By including the experience of victims, returning citizens, and community members we can ease their pain and make sure these tragedies don't repeat themselves," he added.

Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, pointed out that the wait for bold action on ending gun violence crisis has been draining the city of Philadelphia.

“We’ve been talking about ending this horrific gun violence in our city for years now. I’ve introduced and co-sponsored legislation, as well as worked with local organizations, local elected officials, law enforcement, and members of our communities,” Kenyatta said.

“What is truly despicable is that these gun crimes can absolutely be addressed. With a Democratic majority in the PA House, and with a governor who is committed to tackling this issue, we have a real chance to pass legislation that can help keep our communities safe from the horror that is gun violence. But this will require movement in the PA Senate still controlled by Republicans — I pray they are ready to join us and act!”

Rep. Darisha Parker expressed optimism and indicated that the organization is prepared to advance game-changing legislation to the table. 

"Today is a new day in the fight against gun violence," Parker said. "Our legislation is at the ready and we are going to move bills to and through committee. We know that until we are serious about effecting change legislatively, we will not see the results we seek."

Rep. Chris Rabb also elaborated on the bills that the delegation is advocating for and its purpose.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis and is systemic in nature. We can’t continue to focus on the symptoms of this plague without addressing the factors that have fomented this plague. The bills we are advocating for seek to strengthen community safety in ways that protect our collective liberty to feel safer in our homes, workplaces, schools and neighborhoods over the self-interest of the gun lobby.”