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Amid wave of mass shootings in the US, Democrats in Pa. call for stricter gun control laws

In response to the recent mass shootings in the U.S., Pennsylvania Democrats introduced four gun control bills to the House floor for a vote.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania stood on the steps of the rotunda at the State Capitol Building on Wednesday, calling on the general assembly to pass more gun control laws

This is an issue that many state representatives can relate to.

"I lost my 15-year-old nephew to gun violence ten days before Christmas," said State Rep. Martell Covington (D-Allegheny).

During session on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers introduced four gun control bills to the House floor for a vote.

One of those was HB-1538, introduced by State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny).

This piece of legislation would allow local governments to regulate firearms.

"There are no reasons why we should have easier access to firearms in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania than it is to get a driver's license," said Joanna McClinton, Leader of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus.

Frankel says dozens of bills to reduce gun violence have piled up in the House Judiciary Committee.

However, Jason Gottesman, press secretary to the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus says they've taken a proactive approach to reduce gun violence.

He released a statement saying, in part, "Among other measures, Pennsylvania already has one of the most stringent gun background check laws in the country...We have also appropriated around $200 million in school safety and security grants."

Gottesman went on to say that ensuring safe communities in Pennsylvania remains a top priority.

However, Democrats say they aren't feeling a sense of urgency from the Republicans.

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