Friday, April 29, 2011

March Against Illegal Guns

A diverse group of organizations will remember victims of gun violence with a noon rally at Freedom Corner in the Hill District tomorrow and a march to the Convention Center, where the National Rifle Association is meeting. CeaseFire PA Executive Director Max Nacheman says the Supreme Court has upheld the right to bear arms but has also held that reasonable limits are appropriate.

Nacheman says the coalition wants the NRA to join them in seeking basic reforms: lost or stolen handgun reporting (which Pittsburgh passed and the NRA opposed) and fixing the broken background check system. He says loopholes allow criminals to buy weapons without background checks, and there are millions of missing records that could block prohibited purchasers from buying firearms. He says state and local governments should require a background check for every gun sale in America and should get the missing data into the system.

Even though Pennsylvania requires a background check for every handgun sale, even at gun shows, surrounding states do not, so people can easily bring in guns for which there's been no background check, according to Nacheman.

Reverend Chad Collins of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network says Pennsylvania has more African American gun deaths than any other state, which wreaks terror on communities, and an average of 600 Pennsylvanians die each year from gun violence.

Pat Maisch will attend the rally. She helped take Jared Loughner’s ammunition clip away when he tried to kill Cong. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson last January.

Other sponsors are B-PEP, the National Council for Urban Peace and Justice, the Falk Foundation, and the National Council of Jewish Women.

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