Governor Wolf Praises Advocates for New Domestic Violence, Gun Safety Protections

November 14, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf thanked advocates today for their ongoing support of victims of domestic violence during a ceremonial bill signing of Act 79 of 2018, the first bill to truly take guns away from the dangerous abusers who use them to kill, terrorize and control.

“Domestic violence is a scourge on our society and this bill and its reforms will go a long way to protect victims, hold abusers accountable and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said Gov. Wolf. “I want to personally thank the hundreds of advocates and everyday citizens who made their voices heard and got this bill to my desk. Pennsylvania did the right thing with House Bill 2060 to protect victims of domestic violence.

In taking this important step forward toward protecting women, families, and communities against violent domestic abusers, Gov. Wolf was joined by Rep. Marguerite Quinn, Sen. Tom Killion, Executive Director of Ceasefire Shira Goodman, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Susan Higginbotham, leader of the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action Deb Marteslo, Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women Randi Teplitz, domestic abuse survivor Angela Quarles, legislators, and representatives of the Commission for Women and Everytown for Gun Safety.

The new law includes additional safeguards to help protect victims of domestic violence, including:

  • New requirements around prohibiting abusers who have been issued a final protection from abuse orders issued after a contested hearing or conviction for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence from possessing firearms and requires them to turn in their guns to law enforcement agencies within 24 hours while the order is in effect;
  • Eliminates the concern about simply relinquishing a firearm to a family member or friend;
  • Allows for the time that an individual is incarcerated not to be counted for the 90 days of a temporary PFA.

Due to the urgency of enacting the legislation, Gov. Wolf officially signed the bill into law immediately after receiving it on Oct. 12. He urges the General Assembly to continue making Pennsylvania safer by passing commonsense gun safety reforms, such as requiring anyone purchasing a firearm to go through a State Police background check.

“I hope that this bill is the beginning of more bipartisan work to find commonsense ways to keep dangerous weapons away from dangerous people,” said Gov. Wolf. “We owe the citizens of this commonwealth a safe place and we need to continue working together – politics aside – to make that a reality.”

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