Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday announced a new partnership to combat gun violence in Philadelphia that will target straw purchasers and the illegal transfer of guns.

Straw purchasers are people with no criminal record who buy guns on behalf of felons, who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.

At a news conference in his Center City office, Shapiro said the Attorney General’s Office is providing a $123,000 grant to Operation LIPSTICK, an organization that works to prevent women from straw-purchasing firearms.

LIPSTICK stands for “Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing.” The new grant will bring Operation LIPSTICK to Philadelphia. The Boston-based group will partner with Philadelphia-based Mothers in Charge to educate women in Philadelphia about the dangers of straw purchases.

Women make up 80 percent of straw purchasers nationwide, Shapiro said.

Gun violence “is killing 1,500 Pennsylvanians per year,” he said. “Philadelphia has seen an average of one shooting every six hours over the last decade."

Last week, Shapiro said, he announced in Erie his office’s Track and Trace Initiative — “a smart-on-crime, data-driven approach to reducing gun violence across Pennsylvania.”

Part of the initiative will be to educate people about the seriousness of straw purchasing, Shapiro said Thursday.

What will the partnership do?

Dorothy Johnson-Speight, founder and national executive director of Mothers in Charge, a violence-prevention organization, said at the news conference that the educational component of the initiative “will save lives.”

Her son Khaaliq Jabbar Johnson, 24, was fatally shot in 2001 over a parking-space dispute. His killer’s girlfriend had bought the gun.

Mothers in Charge and Operation LIPSTICK will “educate women about the perils of buying guns that end up on the streets, taking the lives of our loved ones,” Johnson-Speight said. As partners, the two groups will “take it to the streets, take it to the beauty salons, take it to schools and classrooms and all over the city to educate women on the decision that they make.”

Tamia Rashima-Jordan, who became Operation LIPSTICK’s executive director last week, said that LIPSTICK "has been credited by Boston law enforcement with a 33 percent drop in gun crimes by women.”

Ebony LePenn, a LIPSTICK member, said that in Boston, the group’s outreach has been focused not just on women but on girls, including those in seventh and eighth grades.

Shapiro said the grant also would be used to collect data to determine the effectiveness of the new program in Philadelphia.

Who else was there, who wasn’t

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, whose district includes North Philadelphia, said the new effort would help make the city’s streets safer. He noted that the availability and proliferation of illegal weapons on the streets is a problem.

During the question-and-answer session, a Philadelphia Magazine reporter asked Shapiro why no one from District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office was at the event. Shapiro responded by saying “this is a statewide initiative” and noting that after Erie, he had spoken in Pittsburgh about the Track and Trace Initiative.

His office continues to collaborate with Krasner’s, including on the joint city-state Gun Violence Task Force, Shapiro said.