End Gun Violence Now

Gun Reform in PA

The issue of gun violence and safety is complicated and needs a multi-pronged set of solutions requiring bi-partisanship. All parties must come to the table with an open mind. Doing nothing because it’s complicated, or you’re adverse to one element of the package of solutions can no longer be our answer. We must compromise and act on many fronts to make a difference and begin to turn this crisis around. There are no easy solutions, but the tide is turning in favor of addressing the issue.

Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program

Conflict resolution must be at the forefront of efforts to end violence in our communities, as well as targeting the social determinants that drive them.  We must invest in those who do this this critical and lifesaving work. State, local and federal funding is available.

Gov. Tom Wolf Signs Executive Order on Gun Violence

August 16, 2019: Governor Tom Wolf signs an executive order to make sweeping changes to executive branch agencies and programs to better target the public health crisis of gun violence. The executive order is the result of months of work by Governor Wolf and his administration to focus on substantive steps that can be taken to reduce gun violence and make communities safer. 


City & State Leaders Join Philadelphians in Demanding Safety From Gun Violence

City & State Leaders Join Philadelphians in Demanding Safety From Gun Violence

PHILADELPHIA − February 26, 2021 – District Attorney Larry Krasner on Friday joined Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, Senator Sharif Street and other state and local leaders to demand action to reduce and prevent gun violence. Officials were joined by community-based anti-violence organizers and area residents at Olney Transportation Center, the site of a mass shooting on February 17th in which eight people ranging in age from 17 to 71 were shot. All are expected to recover. The Philadelphia Police and District Attorney’s Office (DAO) continue to seek information from the public that could lead to the identification and arrest of three males believed to be responsible for the shooting.   Pennsylvania has among...

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Here’s a list of resources to include when reporting on gun violence in Philly

Here’s a list of resources to include when reporting on gun violence in Philly

Have one to add? Let us know.

An 11-year-old boy was shot and killed Monday morning in his Overbrook home. Tragically, he has company in his heartbreaking fate.

So far in 2019, nearly 100 children have suffered gunshot wounds in Philadelphia. In the last four weeks alone, at least seven kids have been shot. Including this week’s victim in West Philly, five of them died. The other children’s names were Leslie Woodson, Nikolette Rivera, Damaya Alcindor and Maxilla Alcindor.

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Moms rally against guns in Philadelphia

Moms rally against guns in Philadelphia

Responding to mass shootings, honoring victims, and demanding “common-sense gun reform," volunteers and supporters with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety gathered Sunday at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral in University City.

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Democratic Officials in Pennsylvania Push for New Gun Control Measures

Democratic Officials in Pennsylvania Push for New Gun Control Measures

In Pennsylvania, more than two dozen government officials, including Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, called on the Republican-led state Legislature to enact new gun control measures, after a gunman in Philadelphia shot and injured six police officers. This is Pennsylvania state Senator Sharif Street. Sen. Sharif Street: “We in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have not done everything we’re supposed to do. We are derelict in our duties. And it is because the majority caucus is afraid of the NRA. They refuse to call a vote on this legislation. They are derelict in their duties."

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Sen. Street Offers Legislation to Restrict Military-Grade Weapons

Sen. Street Offers Legislation to Restrict Military-Grade Weapons

State Sen. Sharif Street (D-N. Phila.) joined Mayor Jim Kenney, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Congressman Dwight Evans and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross along with a host of elected officials from every level of government to condemn the inaction of State and federal leaders in the wake of chronic gun violence and mass murder, prefaced by the largest mass shooting of Philadelphia law enforcement in recent history. Six police officers were shot, and dozens more held at bay for hours by a single armed assailant with an assault weapon.

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Senator Street Explains his Position on Gun Control on the Dom Giordano Program

Senator Street Explains his Position on Gun Control on the Dom Giordano Program

Dom started the show by talking about Wednesday’s shootout in the Nicetown-Tioga section of Philadelphia and the response he received following yesterday’s interview with FOP President John McNesby. Yesterday afternoon, a press conference was held that featured Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, Commissioner Richard Ross, and local lawmakers including State Senator Sharif Street. Street joins Dom, to explain his position on gun control after yesterday’s press conference, in which he said that lawmakers in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania are derelict in their duties because the majority caucus is afraid of the NRA. Street explains to Dom his position in strengthening gun laws and answers hard questions from Dom about the shooting on Wednesday, and...

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Senator Street Offers Legislation to Restrict Military Grade Weapons in wake of Philadelphia Shooting 

Senator Street Offers Legislation to Restrict Military Grade Weapons in wake of Philadelphia Shooting 

Philadelphia, PA − August 15, 2019 – Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), today joined Philadelphia Mayor Ji Kenney, Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Evans and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ross along with a host of elected officials from every level of government to condemn the inaction of state and federal leaders in the wake of chronic gun violence and mass murder, prefaced by the largest mass shooting of Philadelphia law enforcement in recent history.  Six police officers were shot, and dozens more held at bay for hours by a single armed assailant with an assault weapon.                   

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Senate Bill 483 – Lost and stolen guns

This legislation that will would require lost or stolen firearms be reported to local law enforcement authorities within 24 hours.

With a number of mass shootings and countless cases of gun violence happening across the country, it has raised awareness of loopholes in gun laws. Illegal firearms proliferation, and violent crime associated with it, continues to plague residents across the United States as demonstrated by the scores of deaths ranging from police officers and innocent bystanders to the victims of domestic abuse.

Requiring lost or stolen firearms be reported to local law enforcement authorities would help to limit the availability of illegally obtained weapons, and ultimately make our communities safer.

Restrictions on the Sale and Purchase of Military Grade Weapons and Accessories

In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to put restrictions on the sale and purchase of military grade weapons and accessories.

According to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a military grade weapon is defined as having the capacity to release a large amount of ammunition in a short amount of time all while the user keeps complete control of the weapon. Accessories to these weapons are added with the purpose of causing additional harm to the proposed target in a manner more efficient than before. Military grade ammunition can also be easily purchased, including body armor piercing bullets which are colloquially called “cop killers” on the streets. These accessories and others were made for no purpose other than taking the life of another human being.

Senate Bill 138 – Safe Storage of Firearms

Millions of children live in homes with easily accessible firearms. A 2018 study found that 4.6 million minors in the U.S. live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. In fact, most children know where their parents keep their guns — even if their parents think otherwise.

From 2005 to 2014, roughly 20,000 American minors were killed or seriously injured in accidental shootings; the majority of those killed in these tragic accidents were aged 12 or younger. Child access prevention (CAP) laws are an important tool for reducing these preventable shootings. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted child access prevention laws – Pennsylvania isn’t one of them.

Senate Bill 90 – Extreme Risk Protection Orders

This legislation that will add Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that utilize Extreme Risk Protection Orders. This life-saving policy can help protect our communities from mass shootings, firearm suicides and other acts of gun violence.

An Extreme Risk Protection Order (“ERPO”) provides a mechanism for law enforcement and loved ones to request a Court order to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms when they clearly present a danger to themselves and others. All requests for an ERPO must be based on the observations and safety concerns of local police officers, family members or other loved ones, all of whom are seeking the Court’s help with the goal of preventing firearm tragedies.

Senate Bill 88 – Universal Background Checks for Firearms

This legislation eliminates most of the exceptions to the requirement of a background check prior to the purchase or transfer of a firearm. The close familial transfer exception to the background check requirements would remain under this legislation. Senate Bill 209 was the product of continuing work on this issue with various stakeholders.

Currently, the Crimes Code requires firearm sales be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or county sheriff. However, this provision is only applicable to short-barreled firearms. Long barrel firearms, such as semi-automatic rifles, are not currently subject to these restrictions. This legislation would remove this applicability provision and require all firearm sales, regardless of the barrel length, be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or county sheriff.

Senate Bill 254 – Assault Weapons Ban

This legislation would enact an assault weapons ban in Pennsylvania. This bill would mirror language that is very similar to what was enacted in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which is considered to be some of the toughest in the nation.

Under Pennsylvania law, both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are legal. There was a federal ban on these types of weapons nationwide which began in 1994. However, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004 and the sunset provision was never renewed. For the 10 years that the injunction was in effect, it was illegal to manufacture the assault weapons for use by private citizens. The law also set a limit on high-capacity magazines – these could now carry no more than 10 bullets. However, any weapon or magazine that was manufactured before the law went into effect in 1994 was perfectly legal to own or resell.

Community Solutions

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, Senator Sharif Street partnered with Mr. Darryl Shuler of the organization Put It Down in hosting a community summit to discuss the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in Philadelphia.

Held at the The Met located at 858 N. Broad Street in North Philadelphia, several community leaders, state officials, and hundreds of citizens from different neighborhoods of Philadelphia joined together to formulate solutions to a problem that has seemingly become a way of life for some members of the community.

The tone of the meeting was set by members of clergy who opened the program. After a Welcome by Senator Street, Darryl Shuler lead a discussion of Community Voices, where key community members from all walks of life presented on what they believe needed to be addressed.

Then the floor was open to the public. 36 community members rose to have their voices heard, and their comments can be found here. From input by these community members, we recorded 35 suggested “Community Solutions” which are listed below.


    Improve communication and conflict resolution skills


    Encourage honest communication between generations


    Increase funding to prevent the influx of guns into our communities


    Collaborate with local businesses to employ the youth


    Teach love and respect


    Be a “foot soldier” – do your part to help your neighborhood


    Elected officials need to walk the streets themselves to see what is happening in their communities


    Be proactive and take the initiative to strengthen the family


    End the stigma around “snitching”


    Implement gas stations jobs (similar to New Jersey)


    Create regulations to reduce the ease of buying bullets


    Increase funding for after-school programs to keep children busy and engaged


    Establish mentorship programs for returning citizens and formerly incarcerated people


    Never forget the power of unity and community


    Encourage collaboration between community organizations to ensure the most efficient use of resources and to ensure the greatest number of youths are being helped


    Increase funding for mental health services


    Teach financial literacy


    “Men carry children” – men must take more responsibility to be active participants of their children’s lives


    Value life


    Treat our children like V.I.P.s


    Stop family separations (Resolution No. 190346)


    Increase funding for job training and trade schools


    Improve community and police relations


    Bring formerly incarcerated citizens to speak to our youth in the schools


    Mandate youth programs in the public schools


    Work with other cities to find creative solutions to the violence


    Remember that each of us are a model to the youth


    Include trauma-based programs in schools


    Promote literacy to prepare youth for their futures


    Add more direct support for at-risk youth in the schools


    Create a youth to youth mentoring program


    Solutions start in the home


    Work on addressing the divide within our communities


    Be honest about and stand up against media bias regarding violence in our communities


    Create city run programs led by returning citizens

    Philly Gun Violence Resource List

    This list was compiled by WHYY’s Billy Penn and is released for public use by other media organizations or anyone else.
    Have a resource you think we should add? Let us know.

    To discuss or report a violent crime

    • Philadelphia Mobile Emergency Team: (215) 685-6440
    • West/Southwest Victim Services Program: (215) 748-7780
    • Center City Crime Victim Services: 215-665-9680
    • Northeast Victim Services: (215) 332-3888
    • Northwest Victim Services: (215) 438-4410
    • Victim Services of South Philadelphia: (215) 551-3360
    • East Division Crime Victim Services (Concilio and Congreso): (215) 426-4810

    For survivors and their loved ones

    The federal Victims of Crime Act mandates that certain services are available to people who’ve personally suffered a violent crime, or those who have lost a loved one that way. There are victims services organizations all over the city that can help distribute these resources — from counseling services to legal help to reimbursement of funeral costs.

    A Drexel violence intervention program, Healing Hurt People offers free case management support for people who’ve experienced a traumatic event — including resources like health care, housing, food and advocacy at school. There’s also a mobile therapy program and peer support for fellow young adults who survived violence.

    After a violent crime, the city’s Office of Violence Prevention deploys community crisis intervention teams, who help neighbors and assist police in their investigation. The OVP also doles out grants to community anti-violence programs.

    The Network of Neighbors Responding to Violence is a network of community members trained to support—and lead—responses to stress, trauma, loss, and violence within their own communities.

    Pennsylvania’s Crime Victim Compensation Program (VCAP) provides refunds for counseling services to victims, witnesses and close family members. The state picks up the tab, including insurance co-pays, or part of the full bill if no insurance.

    Victims and witnesses 60 years of age or older can reach out to CARIE, the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, which has a victim advocacy program that provides free consulting, court accompaniment, education regarding victim rights. It will also repair external doors, windows and locks to secure victimized seniors in their homes at no charge.

    Statewide nonprofit Pennsylvania Health Law Project offers free legal services via its VOCA (Victim of Crime Act) Program, helping people injured by gun violence (or other crimes) get health insurance via Medicaid to treat physical and mental injuries.

    For families

    • AVP’s hotline for families of murder victims: (215) 686-8033
    • Mothers in Charge: (215) 228-1718

    Mothers in Charge is a national organization founded in Philadelphia by Dorothy Johnson-Speight, who lost her son to gun violence. This group of impassioned mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and loved ones can help you take steps to cope with tragedy.

    EMIR Healing Center was founded by a grieving parent to provide support after community trauma. After a violent crime, members will visit a block, school or individual person to offer healing services. You can also reach out for domestic violence resources.

    Based in Fairhill, Operation Save Our City supports to the families of victims of violent crime. Founder Rosalind Pichardo helps arrange public demonstrations and vigils to generate attention for cold cases.

    For kids

    YEAH offers after-school programming in West Philly, including targeted instruction to help kids learn peer mediation and conflict resolution skills. There’s also a free food bank

    Run by Juwan Bennett and headquartered at Temple University, the Urban Youth Leadership Academy matches middle school students with college-aged and early-career mentors who help them complete a service project.

    The Uplift Center for Grieving Children offers in-school grief support groups — plus services for children and their caregivers at six locations in the city: East Falls, West Philly, South Philly, the lower Northeast, Center City and North Philly (Lenfest Center).

    For resources around suicide

    MBK Cares runs regular community events out of Cobbs Creek recreation center. They’ll welcome you into an existing network of support, helping you find counseling and cope with hardships like bullying.

    The Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation is the place to go if you’d like to find a supportive community rooted in sports. The runs a basketball league to promote sportsmanship, foster social skills and educate youth on suicide prevention.

    The city’s Suicide Prevention Task Force operates five regular support groups all over the city for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

    For resources around domestic/intimate partner violence

    Fishtown’s Lutheran Settlement House is designed to support survivors of domestic violence in any way they might need — with counseling services and programs for seniors, caregivers and people experiencing homelessness.

    Congreso offers bilingual education and services for people who are dealing with domestic violence. The goal: to increase awareness and prevent domestic violence, and to connect survivors to resources.

    Women Against Abuse boasts tons of wraparound services, from counseling to housing to legal help and programs for LGBTQ people experiencing intimate partner violence.

    More counseling services

    The Anti-Violence partnership offers many services. There’s a counseling center, plus resources for kids, victims of intra-family homicide, and people whose family members have been murdered.

    Cost is often a roadblock to folks obtaining mental health services. Luckily, Philly offers a ton of free or affordable options. Check this list for various options.