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Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action, Everytown, Mayors, Law Enforcement and Advocates Urge Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Pass Life-Saving Domestic Violence Legislation

Mayors Papenfuse, Bracey and Scott Support Senate Bill 501 Which Would Require All Abusers Subject to Final Protective Orders to Turn in Their Guns

New Polling Shows 82 Percent of Pennsylvanians, 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

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Volunteers with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, three mayors — including, Mayor Papenfuse of Harrisburg, Mayor Bracey of York, Mayor Scott of Carlisle —Terri Hamrick of Survivors, Inc., and law enforcement today urged Pennsylvania legislators to pass Senate Bill 501, legislation that would protect Pennsylvania families by requiring all domestic abusers subject to final protection from abuse orders to surrender their guns. The bill would also shorten the current 60-day period convicted domestic abusers have to surrender their guns to 24 hours.

According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, over the last decade, firearms have accounted for more than half of all domestic violence-related homicides in the state. And research from Everytown for Gun Safety shows that only 14 percent of final protection from abuse orders issued in Pennsylvania from 2011 through 2015 required that firearms be turned in.

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown, today released a new poll showing a strong majority of Pennsylvania voters support legislation that protects women and families. The polling found, among other results, that:

  • 82 percent of likely Pennsylvania voters, 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.
  • 76 percent of likely Pennsylvania voters, including 78% of gun-owning households, support requiring anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence protection order to turn in any guns they have to law enforcement or a licensed dealer.

“This legislation would help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and help keep our law enforcement and families safer,” said Eric Parpenfuse, mayor of Harrisburg. “ I hope state legislators will join the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action, law enforcement, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and me in supporting this legislation and pass SB 501. We owe it to families, survivors and our brave law enforcement officers on the front lines.”

“Domestic violence is one of the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence, and it continues to have destabilizing effects on individuals and families around Pennsylvania, including right here in York,” said Kim Bracey, mayor of York. “We know that this legislation can save lives: Cities in states that have passed similar laws saw a 25 percent reduction in intimate partner gun homicides. It’s time for the legislature to pass SB 501 to keep families and law enforcement across Pennsylvania safe.”

“As Mayor of Carlisle, my first responsibility is the safety of our residents. SB 501 is a common-sense policy that will close dangerous gaps in our law and better protect not only victims of domestic violence but police officers who take those dangerous calls,” said mayor Tim Scott of Carlisle. It is time for state lawmakers to update Pennsylvania law and empower law enforcement to better protect families from gun violence.”

“According to FBI data, half of all women who are shot to death in Pennsylvania are shot and killed by an intimate partner. Simply put, this is not the Pennsylvania we want to live in,” said Deb Marteslo, volunteer chapter leader with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Together, we can work to ensure that our state becomes a national leader in prioritizing the safety of women and children once and for all.”

“Families living in fear for their lives should be given assurances that Pennsylvania is doing all it can to protect them – and that means ensuring convicted abusers and those under final protective orders are prohibited from possessing guns and required to turn them in promptly,” said Terri Hamrick, president and CEO of Survivors, Inc. “SB 501 will protect Pennsylvania families and the legislature should pass it. Every day we wait is one day too long.”