O’Mara attends White House meeting to discuss America’s gun violence epidemic

MEDIA, Dec. 18 — State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara joined Vice President Kamala Harris and 99 other legislators from across the country at the White House last week to discuss gun violence prevention.

During the convening, which consisted of 100 state lawmakers, White House officials and legislators discussed the Safer States Agenda. This agenda highlights key actions that states can take to end America’s gun violence epidemic, including the establishment of state offices focused on gun violence prevention, strengthening support for survivors and victims, and establishing industry accountability and standards.

One intervention method discussed was Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which is a measure O’Mara introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier this legislative session and years prior. Her H.B. 1018 would allow for temporarily disarming people in crisis to disrupt spontaneous acts of violence against themselves or others. This legislation passed the PA House on May 22 with bipartisan support and awaits consideration in the Senate.

“It was an honor to not only attend the White House’s largest convening of state legislators, but to shed light on such an important topic – how gun violence impacts every community in America,” O’Mara said. “Losing my dad to gun suicide at 13 years old fundamentally changed my life. Extreme Risk Protection Orders can be such an effective intervention measure for families who struggle like mine did, and ERPOs are proven to reduce the number of suicides in other states that enacted them. I’m thankful to everyone who explored this and dozens of other ideas with me at the convening and urge my colleagues in the Senate to bring House Bill 1018 up for a vote.”  

O’Mara added that if H.B. 1018 passes the Senate and Gov. Josh Shapiro signs it into law, Pennsylvania would be the 22nd state to enact a “red flag” law.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed two bills this year that are part of The Common Agenda to End Gun Violence package. One was O’Mara’s H.B. 1018, which would create ERPOs and the other, H.B. 714, would enact universal background checks.