PIIN’s focus on gun violence emerged from the all too personal experience of PIIN leaders and congregations who have lost sons, daughters, grandsons and nephews. Valley View Presbyterian Church raised the issue in one of their Holy Ground actions and then with the PIIN Board after a congregation member’s second son was shot and killed. PIIN secured commitments from Pittsburgh’s mayor to institute annual diversity training for all city police officers and to add a community presence that would include PIIN lay and spiritual leaders on the police oral boards to ensure transparency, accountability and to create a police force that represents the city’s diversity. Although the Public Safety Director halted the process part way through and removed the community presence from the oral review board panels, we now understand how qualified women and minority police candidates are eliminated in the hiring process and the importance of making the process fair and transparent. Addressing this is the current direction of the task force. The task force is also working with partners to research the source of guns recovered by police in the city of Pittsburgh. To prevent people who are not legally able to purchase a firearm from getting them from someone else, we are laying the groundwork to push for the enforcement of the Lost and Stolen Firearm Ordinance, which requires gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours.
To get involved with the Gun Violence Task Force, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Manor Building, 564 Forbes Ave, Suite 808
Pittsburgh, PA 15219