Senators Tom McGarrigle (R-26) and Tom Killion (R-9) praised today’s vote on landmark domestic violence legislation in the Pennsylvania Senate.
House Bill 2060 passed by a vote of 43-5 and now heads to Governor Tom Wolf for his signature. McGarrigle and Killion both strongly supported the bill and voted in favor of the legislation. Wolf has said he will sign the bill into law.
The House bill includes legislative language authored by McGarrigle and Killion in bills that passed the Senate by unanimous votes earlier this year. Part of Killion’s Senate Bill 501 and McGarrigle’s Senate Bill 502 are in House Bill 2060.
Killion’s legislative language contained in House Bill 2060 includes a requirement for abusers to relinquish their firearms within 24 hours of having a final Protection From Abuse order filed against them.
Killion’s language that bans Pennsylvania’s unsafe practice of allowing friends and family members of the abusers to store perpetrators’ guns and instead requires sheriffs, attorneys and licensed gun dealers to hold these firearms is also included in House Bill 2060. This makes it impossible for abusers to retrieve their weapons and commit further acts of violence.
Language from McGarrigle’s Senate Bill 502 is also included in House Bill 2060. McGarrigle’s legislative language allows the victims of domestic violence to ask for an extension of Protection From Abuse orders if the abuser has been incarcerated within the past 90 days.
“The effort to protect citizens from domestic violence is an ongoing one. It’s a process, and a sometimes imperfect one. When we can identify a way to reduce the potential for this violence, and do so within the parameters of the Constitution, I believe we should do so,” said McGarrigle.
McGarrigle added “Requiring the timely and complete relinquishment of firearms for those subject to PFAs or convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence reduces the risk of violence for everyone involved. This bill is a positive step toward in preventing incidents of domestic violence from escalating.”
Killion noted that 2017 saw the highest number of domestic violence deaths in Pennsylvania in the last decade. Last year, 117 people were killed in domestic violence-related incidents, 78 of them by gun violence.
“Victims of domestic abuse have been living in fear of gun violence for far too long,” said Killion. “This legislation will get guns out of the hands of abusers. It will protect women, children, men and the law enforcement community during dangerous domestic disputes. This bill will save lives,” he added.