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This Week in Pennsylvania: Moms Demand Action Volunteers Stood Alongside Law Enforcement and Legislators at Press Conferences Across the State Urging Legislature to Pass HB 2060 to Protect Domestic Abuse Victims

Community Leaders, Law Enforcement and Concerned Pennsylvanians Called on Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Pass Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers

Pennsylvania Legislators of Both Parties Urged Passage of HB 2060 at Press Conferences in Media, Pittsburgh, Reading, State College and West Chester

Community Leaders, Law Enforcement and Concerned Pennsylvanians Called on Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Pass Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers

Pennsylvania Legislators of Both Parties Urged Passage of HB 2060 at Press Conferences in Media, Pittsburgh, Reading, State College and West Chester

PENNSYLVANIA – This week, volunteers with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, joined state legislators of both parties, local law enforcement and concerned citizens in hosting five press conferences to demand that Pennsylvania lawmakers pass HB 2060 before the session closes this year. HB 2060 would protect survivors of domestic abuse by prohibiting all abusers who are subject to final protection from abuse orders from possessing guns and requiring them to turn in their guns while the order is in effect. Last year, 78 Pennsylvanians were shot and killed in domestic violence-related incidents.

The bill includes other protections to ensure that abusers who are convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence – who are already prohibited from having guns under Pennsylvania law – surrender their firearms quickly and securely. A companion bill passed the Senate unanimously in March. Now, advocates are calling on the House of Representatives to act immediately – and for both chambers to get this bill to Governor Wolf before session ends.

STATEMENT FROM DEB MARTESLO, VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“We are so grateful to the lawmakers, law enforcement officials and concerned citizens who joined us across the state to advocate for the immediate passage of this lifesaving piece of legislation. This is a matter of life or death. We need lawmakers to act right away and protect Pennsylvania families.”

STATEMENT FROM MARGUERITE QUINN, REPRESENTATIVE, 143RD DISTRICT

“Domestic violence is not a partisan issue. It’s an issue that tears families apart and terrorizes victims because they do not have the guarantee of state law that their abusers won’t have access to firearms. This legislation, which has received bipartisan committee votes in the House, seeks to make our communities safer and give victims a better peace of mind.”

Building on nearly three years of mobilizing public support for this legislation, advocates haven’t let up. Next week, they will deliver an open letter to the House of Representatives signed by over 7,000 Pennsylvanians urging lawmakers to take immediate action.

Earlier this month, advocates also launched an effort to engage the public and hold lawmakers accountable that included six billboards across the state, with airplane banners that ran over Labor Day in western and central Pennsylvania – all urging action to protect families from domestic abusers with guns.

At the beginning of the summer, Moms Demand Action volunteers also released a list of “78 Reasons We Can’t Wait to pass HB 2060. The list features 78 personal testimonials from Pennsylvanians across the state – one testimonial for each of the 78 Pennsylvanians who were shot and killed last year in domestic-violence-related incidents. Additionally, a video featuring Moms Demand Action volunteers was released highlighting some of the most powerful reasons why Pennsylvanians support the legislation and urging lawmakers to pass this bill quickly.

RECAP: WHERE AND WHEN THE PRESS CONFERENCES TOOK PLACE AND WHO FROM THE LOCAL COMMUNITY PARTICIPATED:

Media, PA
Tuesday, September 5

Leanne Krueger-Braneky, Representative (D), 161st District
Jamie Santora, Representative (R), 163rd District
Katayoun “Kat” Copeland, Delaware County District Attorney
Kathy Stone, Executive Director, Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County

Pittsburgh, PA
Thursday, September 6

Dan Frankel, State Representative (D), 23rd District
Bill Mullen, Alleghany County Sheriff
Rob Conroy, Director of Organizing, CeaseFirePA
Nicole Molinaro, Director of Services, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
Jenny Ruth Partica, Pittsburgh-based volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Reading, PA
Thursday, September 6

Mark Rozzi, State Representative, (D) 126st District
John Adams, District Attorney, Berks County
Mary Kay Bernosky, CEO SafeBerks
Nicole Bowman, Berks County-based volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

State College, PA
Wednesday, September 5

Scott Conklin, State Representative (D) 77th District
Bernie Cantorna, District Attorney, Centre County
John Gardner, State College Chief of Police
Anne Ard, Executive Director, Centre County Women’s Resource Center
Maggie Ellis, Centre Region- based volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

West Chester, PA
Thursday, September 6

Eric Roe, State Representative (R), District 158
Carolyn Comitta, State Representative (D), District 156
Warren Kampf, State Representative (R), District 157
Michelle Friel, Assistant District Attorney, Chester County
Laura Fletcher, Chester-based volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America