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August 15, 2019

Gov. Tom Wolf delays gun violence executive order after Philly shooting

Gov. Tom Wolf was expected to sign an executive order on Thursday to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania, but after six Philadelphia police officers were shot in North Philly on Wednesday the governor has delayed the move.

The executive order is intended to help reduce gun violence in communities. Wolf postponed the ceremony "out of respect for the officers injured and the ongoing situation in North Philadelphia" he said in a news release.

MORE: Philly, five more Pennsylvania locations included in Time's mass shooting cover

“I spoke with Mayor Kenney this evening to pledge the commonwealth’s full support for whatever is needed to bring this ordeal to an end. We will continue to support the victims, the police force and all of Philadelphia’s residents," Wolf said in an official statement.

The order would bring "sweeping changes to executive branch agencies and programs." It seeks to reduce gun violence and combat mass shootings. It also would address the rising number of gun-related domestic incidents and self-inflected shootings, including suicides, the governor said. The plan would bring new "oversight and data sharing."

After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Wolf called for increased gun restrictions in Pennsylvania. He said, "We can ban assault weapons and institute stricter background checks. We can make communities safer. We can target white nationalism and promote tolerance. We can invest in mental care and help those struggling. We cannot accept this violence as normal. We must act."

The governor has called for a federal assault weapons ban that includes requirements for gun safety and storage to reduce accidental shootings. He also made a call for universal background checks by the Pennsylvania State Police on all gun purchases.

In October 2018, Wolf signed legislation that toughen gun rules for those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. 

It is unknown at this time when the executive signing will take place. 

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