Legislation proposed to eliminate guns from domestic abusers

Volunteers gathered to send a message to PA lawmakers.

LEWISBURG, UNION COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- Pennsylvanians fighting the problem of domestic abuse tried to send a powerful message to state lawmakers Tuesday: change the law or people will die

They want to change a very specific provision of the current law and better protect victims of domestic abuse.

Steva Stowell-Hardcastle along with may others from the Pennsylvania Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety in America came together Tuesday for one reason:

"Finding solutions to stop gun violence," says Stowell-Hardcastle.

In 2016, 102 people were killed during domestic abuse incidents in the commonwealth. 57 of them were shot.

More than 30 people with Moms Demand Action gathered on the steps of the Union County Courthouse, urging lawmakers in Harrisburg to put a stop to those types of deaths.

"SB 501 requires all abusers under active protective from abuse orders to turn in guns to dealers or law enforcement," says Susan Mathias, CEO of Transitions.

The bill also would require those on a final protective order to turn in their guns and ammunition within 24 hours of the court order.

Currently, judges have the option of ordering the guns to be surrendered, and the owner can have up to two months to do so, usually do a family member or friend.

"This is about safety for law enforcement," says Shari Jacobson, of Moms Demand Action. "This is about safety for children, for spouses, and domestic partners."

Advocates say one vote in Harrisburg could keep potential victims alive.

"That's what we are encouraging them to do," says Stowell-Hardcastle. "Let's bring it to the senate floor this fall and get it done."

Right now, Bill 501 needs to pass out of the Senate Judiciary Committee vote before it can be considered by the full senate.

Advocates across the state held similar events Tuesday across the commonwealth.

 


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