Lawmakers, Wolf rally for extreme risk gun bill

Supporters of legislation to increase gun restrictions rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Sept. 24, 2018. (Ed Mahon/PA Post)

Supporters of legislation to increase gun restrictions rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Sept. 24, 2018. (Ed Mahon/PA Post)

After a rare win last legislative session, gun control proponents in the state House and Senate are attempting to move the needle on the issue once again.

Gun control bills are always a tough sell in Harrisburg, and this one is no different. It would allow police and family members to petition a judge to restrict a person’s ability to possess firearms, as long as they can prove the person is a danger to themselves or others. Last year a version made a little progress, but ultimately stalled. The restriction would be temporary.

Delaware County Democratic Representative Jennifer O’Mara said it would be particularly useful in cases where people are suicidal like her father was.

“ERPA laws could have been a tool that my family could have used to try to save my father,” she said.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, almost two-thirds of gun deaths in Pennsylvania are suicides.

O’Mara spoke at a rally for the gun control group Moms Demand Action. Other speakers included Governor Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

The concerted effort on this Extreme Risk Protection bill comes after Pennsylvania passed its first gun control law in years last legislative session — a measure that makes it easier to keep guns from convicted domestic abusers.

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