Op-ed: We need serious measures against gun violence

Op-ed: We need serious measures against gun violence

By State Rep. Thomas Murt The epidemic of gun violence is pleading for swift action by policymakers. Sadly, the pace of these badly needed reforms as manifested thus far is simply too slow. Our state does not have the luxury of waiting for more gun violence before meaningful measures are taken. At the very least, we should immediately expand existing programs that work and that have been effective in addressing gun violence. The Joint Local-State Firearm Task Force is one of these programs. The Joint Local-State Firearm Task Force or the Gun Violence Task Force has been a very successful tool in addressing gun violence in Philadelphia and needs to be further expanded throughout Pennsylvania. I recently went on patrol with agents from the attorney general’s office who are assigned to the Gun Violence Task Force. I learned a great deal about their mission and the excellent work they do in taking illegal guns off the street and in addressing gun violence. Law enforcement professionals readily confirm that most firearms used by criminals are obtained illegally. Most of these weapons were either stolen or straw purchased. Straw purchasers legally buy guns for people who can’t, usually because they have a record of arrests and convictions that prevent them from legally purchasing a gun. Essentially, the mission of the Gun Violence Task Force is to aggressively investigate and prosecute firearm trafficking, straw purchase of firearms, the movement of illegal guns and violent gun crime. The task force has been very […]

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