SB 501 Would Close Dangerous Loopholes That Makes It Easy for Prohibited Domestic Abusers to Access Guns
HARRISBURG, Pa.– The Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded state senators for passing Senate Bill 501 out of the senate after advocates, law enforcement, and local electeds have voiced strong support for the need to better protect domestic violence survivors over the last year. This legislation would prohibit all abusers who are subject to final protection from abuse orders from possessing guns and would require them to turn in their guns while the order is in effect, among other protections to ensure guns are kept out of the hands of domestic abusers under final protection from abuse orders as well as those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. The bill now moves to the Pennsylvania House.
Nearly 2 out of 5 Pennsylvania women reported experiencing some form of Intimate Partner Violence in their lifetime. Guns are the weapon of choice for abusers in Pennsylvania: According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), abusers used firearms in 65% of the domestic violence homicides in 2017, killing 75 people, an increase from 56% in 2016.
Furthermore, 82 percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania — including 88 percent of gun-owning households — support prohibiting anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence protection order from purchasing a gun, while 76% of Pennsylvanians agree that those same abusers should be required to turn in the guns they already own to law enforcement or a licensed gun dealer.
STATEMENT FROM DEB MARTESLO, VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Today marks tremendous progress for lifesaving legislation that will protect Pennsylvania families and law enforcement. We applaud state senators for doing the right thing and passing this bipartisan bill unanimously, and we are especially proud of the bill’s sponsor and champion, Sen. Tom Killion. No one should have to live in fear of an abuser with a gun. It’s now up to the members of the Pennsylvania House to listen to the district attorneys, police chiefs, mayors, gun owners, and domestic violence survivors who all overwhelmingly support this crucial legislation that would protect Pennsylvania families.”