Philadelphia Jews Lobby for Gun Control in Harrisburg

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About a dozen Jews from the Philadelphia area joined hundreds of people who traveled to Harrisburg on Tuesday to try and prompt action on gun-control legislation.

About a dozen Jews from the Philadelphia area joined hundreds of people who traveled to Harrisburg on Tuesday to try and prompt action on several pieces of gun-control legislation.

The rally was sponsored by CeaseFirePA and advocates spoke about the dangers posed by long guns —shot guns, rifles and semi-automatic assault rifles — and expressed their opposition to a proposed bill in the State House that would provide Pennsylvania residents greater ability to sue a township or municipality over gun control regulations that they feel adversely affect them.


The advocates also met with legislators to lobby for the passage of a bill that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases.

Gun violence is "having a negative impact on our society, and I feel our elected officials need to take action and many of them are not as brave as they need to be," said Jill Zipin, a board member of CeaseFirePA and the Jewish Community Relations Council who traveled to Harrisburg to meet with legislators.

Pennsylvania law currently does not require background checks on the purchase of long guns, advocates said. Zipin said there is widespread support for stricter regulation but that legislators will not move the bill forward. 

JCRC director Adam Kessler also traveled to Harrisburg and said he was encouraged by the turnout.

"I think it speaks to the point that the vast majority of people seem to want this legislation, which is closing the loophole with background checks — even among NRA people — yet somehow the legislature doesn't seem to be able to move on it," Kessler said.

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