Mass shootings in recent days, including a gun battle where six Philadelphia Police Officers were shot, has pushed the issue of guns and violence back into the national spotlight.

Now Pennsylvania's Governor is taking matters into his own hands and has signed an executive order designed to reduce gun violence.

According to the Pennsylvania Governor's Office, 1,600 people died in Pennsylvania from gunshot wounds in 2017, that's above the national average.  Guns were also the weapon of choice -- used in 74% of all homicides, and 52 percent of fatal suicides.

This week alone, along with six officers who were shot and wounded during that shoot out in Philadelphia, five people were killed in a separate incident blocks away.

Governor Wolf calls the gun violence a "public health crisis," and has signed the executive order to trigger change.

"Every day we delay in doing this, it's another day where we lose the right to live our lives free of the fear that is surrounding our lack of action," Governor Wolf said.
The sweeping changes detail nearly two dozen initiatives and reforms, including, pushing for the passage of what's commonly known as the Red Flag Law, or an extreme risk protection order.  Ohio is also considering a version of that law.

It would allow municipalities or families to petition the court to have guns temporarily seized from a person deemed as a threat to themselves or society.

"We want a good Pennsylvania for everybody.  One that recognizes the rights embedded in the Second Amendment, but also one that recognizes all of our right to live free of fear," Governor Wolf said.

Another component of Governor Wolf's plan, information sharing -- so that law enforcement can try to step in before potential threats are carried out.

"This is about taking information that's out there in the public, that we already have, and saying let's see if we can do a better job of using it to prevent the kind of things that destroy lives," Wolf said.

Safe storage of weapons is also crucial to keep guns away from children, and people who are a threat to themselves and others.

Pennsylvania is targeting change to stop the killing by leading the conversation on gun violence.