Lawmakers and activists gather at State Capitol to recognize Gun Violence Awareness Day

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A sea of orange took over the State Capitol today as lawmakers and activists recognized ‘Gun Violence Awareness Day’.

Governor Tom Wolf was one of those in attendance at today’s rally at the capitol and while he says some progress has been made, he’s pushing for more action from lawmakers in an effort to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania.

In a building where it’s usually a battle of red versus blue, on Wednesday, it was awash in orange for ‘Gun Violence Awareness Day’. 

“We need to end mass shootings in Pennsylvania.”

Last year, Governor Wolf signed into law Act 79, forcing domestic abusers to surrender their guns, the state’s first new gun law in 14 years.

“What we’ve accomplished so far, though, is just a start. Let’s be the ones to end gun violence in our Commonwealth once and for all.”

Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell says, “Easter Sunday, March 30th, 1975, my father was murdered in front of my family.”

Johnson-Harrell, who not only lost her father to gun violence, later lost her brother and son.

“We found out that my son was murdered in a case of mistaken identity, by two boys who could not have gotten guns legally, because they had previous criminal records.”

She joined the governor Wednesday to call for more legislation like universal background checks; something the National Rifle Association opposes, saying background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms, and most mass shooters actually pass background checks.

But those at the Capitol on Wednesday say they will continue their fight.

Johnson-Harrell says, “Because all of our children have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thank you.”

And, this Friday marks National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

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