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After mass shootings, Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf calls for banning assault weapons and targeting white nationalism

Written by Ed Mahon and Emily Previti/PA Post | Aug 5, 2019 5:57 AM
El Paso shooting vigil 2.jpg

From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A young gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas, shopping area during the busy back-to-school season, leaving multiple people dead and more than two dozen injured. (John Locher/Associated Press)

In the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that left at least 29 people dead, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called for increased gun restrictions and targeting white nationalism.

Several other Pennsylvania politicians called for action, following the mass shootings.

Sen. Bob Casey echoed Wolf in a statement, concluding:

"Today, President Trump should address the nation to condemn white nationalism and pledge an all of government effort to confront white nationalist terrorism. For years, Congressional Republicans have blocked action on measures to reduce gun violence and they must be held accountable. It's time for Senator McConnell and Congressional Republicans to confront gun violence or get out of the way."

Casey and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey also took to Twitter:

 

 

In 2013, Toomey teamed up with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, in an attempt to expand background check requirements. The efforts failed.

On Sunday, Toomey specifically called for the use of a "red flag" measure, also known as extreme risk protection orders. Wolf and some Republican lawmakers are also pushing for the creation of those in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3, posted on social media throughout the weekend. Evans represents Philadelphia, where there was a mass shooting last week. His campaign Facebook page's profile picture promotes Wear Orange for Gun Safety 2019.

Evans noted languishing legislation -- including one bill that would prevent people from buying firearms before background checks have been completed, which currently can happen if the checks take longer than three days. 

Wolf's tweets echoed some from Rep. Brendan Boyle, the Democrat representing North Philly.

Mike Doyle, D-18, represents Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed during a mass shooting at a synagogue last October. Doyle called for action on Twitter: 

Democrat Conor Lamb, whose district includes a significant swath of suburban Pittsburgh, tweeted Saturday: "the people of Pittsburgh stand with the entire El Paso community. Praying for all of you. We cannot go on like this."

On Sunday, Lamb called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on social media accounts affiliated with his office and re-election campaign, noting the universal background checks bill that hasn't moved since passing the House earlier this year.

So did Congresswomen Susan Wild of the Lehigh Valley 7th district, Chrissy Houlahan of the 6th (Chester and southern Berks counties), Madeleine Dean of the 4th (most of Montgomery and a small part of Berks counties) and Mary Gay Scanlon of the 5th (Delaware County and small sections of South Philly and Montgomery County).

 

Brian Fitzpatrick, who represents Bucks and a small part of Montgomery counties, was the only Republican in Pennsylvania's congressional delegation who'd called for action as of Sunday night.

Some lawmakers were quiet on social media or offered prayers without proposing any changes to gun laws.

 

Editor's note: This post has been updated to add more commentary from lawmakers. 

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