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Gun control group endorses Peduto

Published by Tim McNulty on .

CeaseFirePaIt's getting hard keeping up with all these mayoral endorsements. The latest is CeaseFirePa giving their nod to city Councilman Bill Peduto.

The group said fellow candidates Jake Wheatley and Jack Wagner both supported parts of their agenda cracking down on illegal guns but Peduto had the most forceful positions. The said in part:

Councilman Peduto has proven himself to be a leader in Pittsburgh City Council on efforts to reduce gun violence. He introduced and supported the adoption of a lost or stolen ordinance in Pittsburgh, and it was his leadership that resulted in the City's enactment of this ordinance. Peduto is committed to enforcing and defending the ordinance and ensuring that Pittsburgh has the tools it needs to fight the flow of illegal guns and reduce gun violence.

A partner organization called Mayors Against Illegal Guns has been advertising in the Pittsburgh market in spots advocating congressional approval of universal background checks.

UPDATE: Wheatley's website is now up, and the "issues" section is largely on stemming violence and illegal guns.

Full statement after the jump:

PITTSBURGH, April 4, 2013 -- CeaseFirePA, Pennsylvania's largest gun violence prevention organization, today endorsed Councilman Bill Peduto in the Pittsburgh mayoral election. CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman noted, "The field of candidates remaining in the race are each committed to fighting gun violence, pursuing common sense gun laws and finding ways to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. But one candidate stands out for his career-long commitment and dedication to gun violence prevention: Bill Peduto."

Councilman Peduto has proven himself to be a leader in Pittsburgh City Council on efforts to reduce gun violence. He introduced and supported the adoption of a lost or stolen ordinance in Pittsburgh, and it was his leadership that resulted in the City's enactment of this ordinance. Peduto is committed to enforcing and defending the ordinance and ensuring that Pittsburgh has the tools it needs to fight the flow of illegal guns and reduce gun violence.

Pittsburgh needs a mayor who will be a forceful leader on the gun violence issue and an active member of our partner Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Rep. Wheatley's responses to our questionnaire demonstrate his support for the key pieces of our statewide agenda: background checks for every gun sale and maintenance and strengthening of the Pennsylvania Instant Criminal Background Check System; a state wide lost or stolen reporting law; and a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Mr. Wagner did not respond to our questionnaire, but his answers to the 2010 gubernatorial questionnaire reveal that he favors statewide uniform solutions to the problem of gun violence. However, we believe that neither Rep. Wheatley nor Mr. Wagner will be as forceful a City leader as Mr. Peduto on this critical issue. Finally, although Mr. Richardson's questionnaire responses demonstrate support for our agenda and understanding of the critical need for local and state cooperation in this arena, his recent legal troubles have led us to remove him from consideration for our endorsement.

Goodman explained, "CeaseFirePA's endorsement of Bill Peduto reflects his longstanding willingness to partner with us in finding solutions, his leadership in Pittsburgh on this issue, and his refusal to ignore the problem in the face of challenges." Peduto's closing comments in his response to CeaseFirePA's candidate questionnaire demonstrate why he has earned our endorsement: "It is time for Pittsburgh to join cities across the country in taking the fight to those who flood our cities with illegal guns and remain callously indifferent to the bloodshed on our streets. I pledge . . . that I will not hide from this issue. I will confront it head on. I will go to Harrisburg and lobby the General Assembly and the Governor on the importance of allowing Pittsburgh and other cities to take action and will push for true statewide reform."

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