Briggs vows to continue to fight for gun safety reform

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, vowed to continue to fight the scourge of gun violence, despite the refusal of Republican leadership to bring up important gun safety bills.

“At Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee meeting, we should have been voting on real gun safety reform bills that would save lives. But instead, the Republican chairman called up several bad bills that won’t address safety and, in some cases, will make our laws worse,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery. “We had the opportunity to take action on commonsense legislation that our communities want, but instead we considered bills that cater to special interests and won’t do anything to help us protect residents.”

After a string of mass shootings over the summer, Briggs urged Rep. Rob Kauffman, Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to immediately call up several bills for action – bills to require universal background checks, require the reporting of lost or stolen guns, require the safe storage of guns in homes with children, and create extreme risk protection orders to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others.

None of the bills were brought up in the committee Tuesday, and Kauffman announced the committee will not consider any more gun bills this session.

Briggs joined CeaseFirePA at a news conference Wednesday to decry the lack of action. Wednesday was also the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

“Thousands of Pennsylvanians die each year from gun violence, and we have to do something about it. If House Republicans refuse to lead, they should get out of the way,” said Briggs. “We need to do better for the people of Pennsylvania, and I’ll do whatever I can to force votes on these commonsense bills that will save lives.”