Why no special session on gun violence?

  • Ed Mahon

After receiving “direct death threats,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto increased his personal security detail, the Associated Press reports. The mayor said the threats came in response to several gun control measures passed in response to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting last October. –Ed Mahon, PA Post reporter

Legislature not expected back until late Sept.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Gov. Tom Wolf listens as Pennsylvania lawmakers come together in an unusual joint session to commemorate the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack that killed 11 people last year, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

  • In response to this weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, state Rep. Kevin Boyle, a Philadelphia Democrat, urged Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to bring lawmakers back to Harrisburg to focus on gun control measures. Democratic State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Danielle Friel Otten and Brian Sims supported the idea.

  • WITF’s Katie Meyer and I looked into what Wolf, some moderate Republicans and legislative leaders think about a special session.

  • Wolf supports expanded background checks, extreme risk protection orders and a ban on certain weapons. But calling a special session has its limits. “The governor is open to calling a special session if there are commitments to allow votes on critical reforms that will save lives,” Wolf’s press secretary, J.J. Abbott, said. “Without such an agreement, there is no guarantee of action.”

  • Meanwhile, state Rep. Todd Stephens, a Montgomery County Republican, is urging legislative leaders in his party to make gun violence a top priority when lawmakers return for the regular session in September.

  • Stephens supports extreme risk protection orders, which allow police and family members to petition a judge to temporarily restrict a person’s ability to possess firearms. President Donald Trump endorsed those types of orders in a speech on Monday.

Best of the rest

Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

In this Monday, July 22, 2019, photo, cyberbullying victim Rachel Whalen looks at her phone. Pennsylvania’s Safe2Say Something program received 3,558 tips about bullying in its first six months. 

  • After school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, last year, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the non-profit group Sandy Hook Promise created an anonymous tip line for schools. Bullying and cyberbullying were the leading reasons people made a report, Avi Wolfman-Arent reports for Keystone Crossroads.

  • Aneri Pattani of The Philadelphia Inquirer spoke with a trauma nurse, a chaplain and other members of a trauma team at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center about their experiences treating gun violence — and the moments that stay with them.

  • Gov. Wolf referred to charter schools as “private,” prompting an objection from the state’s largest organization representing charter schools. PennLive’s Jan Murphy explains the controversy and why Wolf is standing by his statement.


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