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Push to end gun violence in Pennsylvania is looking for ideas

A local anti-violence group teams with former governor to brainstorm violence prevention strategies.

Ed Rendell Credit: Wiki Commons Ed Rendell Credit: Wiki Commons

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell wants to talk.

Rendell will cohost a live telephone town hall meeting tonight to exchange ideas for statewide gun violence prevention strategies.

Specifically, Rendell is joining a representative from CeaseFirePa, the locally based anti-violence group, to push state legislators to pass bills that would expand background checks for potential gun buyers.

Shira Goodman, CeaseFirePA executive director, said her group solicited Rendell's services to give citizens a venue to discuss the controversial topic "with somebody who really knows the state well."

"[Someone] who can really help people understand what they can do to help propel this forward," she said.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1010 would require universal background checks for the purchase of long guns and handguns. But since its introduction in March, legislators in Harrisburg have not made any progress on it.

"There is this understanding that we can do something to curb the gun laws," Goodman said, "without burdening law-abiding gun owners."

If passed, the commonwealth would become the seventh state to require universal background checks, which is a tough task in a state with a significant population of National Rifle Association members.

"I envision people asking, 'What can we do?'" Goodman said. "And hopefully, Gov. Rendell talking about what people in Harrisburg need to hear from citizens to make themselves heard."

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