Tag Archives: domestic violence

Dear Pennsylvania State Legislature

email from Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action, 7/10/18. Several Chesco legislators co-sponsored HB 2227 but political leaders have not allowed a vote on it, even though according to a poll published by Everytown for Gun Safety on 9/12/17, “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.”

On June 25th, I sat in the gallery of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and watched our state lawmakers throw away an opportunity to advance a bill that will save the lives of Pennsylvanians.

As time went on, the weight of their inaction was palpable — the 78 domestic violence victims who were shot and killed just last year in Pennsylvania were there with us, in our hearts while we sat in the statehouse.

But right after, something remarkable happened — lawmakers from across the state joined me and other advocates to hold an impromptu press conference about this shocking failure to act. Side by side, we told Pennsylvania and domestic violence survivors that we won’t stop fighting until our lawmakers pass a bill to disarm domestic abusers this year.

We’ve penned an open letter to the Pennsylvania state legislature.

SIGN YOUR NAME >> Dear Pennsylvania House of Representatives: Pass a bill to protect domestic violence survivors from abusers armed with guns.

78 Pennsylvanians died last year because a domestic abuser had a gun and shot to kill. We don’t yet have the numbers who have died for the same reason this year. And I don’t want to write you next year with that number and ask you again to help me get this bill passed. 2018 must be the year we pass this bill. This must be the year our state legislature takes action to protect people from an abuser and his gun.


I honestly didn’t think the Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action volunteers and I could get any more fired up. But, once again, I’ve been proved wrong: we’re ready to spend summer doing whatever it takes to pass this law.

Sign our open letter to Pennsylvania lawmakers demanding that they take action to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers this year.

Grateful for you,

Deb Marteslo
Pennsylvania Chapter Leader
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Governor Wolf Urges Commonsense Gun Safety, Background Checks on All Gun Purchases

from Governor Tom Wolf, 4/23/18

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf was joined today by Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, legislators and stakeholders to urge passage of commonsense gun safety legislation, including background checks on all gun purchases in Pennsylvania.

“All of Pennsylvania’s citizens have the right to live happy, healthy lives free from fear about their and their family’s personal safety,” Gov. Wolf said. “Unfortunately, in the past decades we have seen that sense of security, that sense of safety, threatened. I am calling on the legislature to take up additional commonsense gun reform bills that will help us close dangerous loopholes and keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to Pennsylvania’s citizens.

“We should pass legislation that requires all those who wish to purchase a firearm to go through a State Police background check; universal background checks are one of the best ways we can keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”

“In the commonwealth, a firearms transaction between two private parties does not require a background check if the firearm falls within certain criteria (these firearms are commonly referred to as long guns),” Lt. Col. Evanchick said. “It is this void in the current law we are in support of changing. The Pennsylvania State Police encourages closing this void in the current law and requests that all firearm purchases and or transfer of ownership require a universal background check.”

The governor also urged the House to quickly pass Senate Bill 501, which the Senate recently unanimously passed, and which prevents domestic abusers with protection from abuse orders against them from owning or possessing guns…

keep reading at Governor Tom Wolf

Pa. House must do its part to protect domestic abuse victims from gun violence

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 2018

Remarkably, all 50 Pennsylvania state senators voted yes on Delaware Country Republican Sen. Thomas Killian’s bill to take guns away from people with a history of domestic violence.

It is remarkable because the Pennsylvania legislature is typically so cowed by the National Rifle Association that it deep-freezes even the most reasonable firearms safety measures. Even this common-sense bill, for example, sat in committee for a year before coming up for votes last week.

That’s a welcome indication of how much public sentiment has changed since the survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., called out the NRA for its constant, reckless promotion of deadly weaponry that has no place in hunting or sport shooting….

keep reading at Philadelphia Inquirer And now, urge your representative in the PA House to support the bill.

Wolf Calls for Passage of Bipartisan Enhanced Firearm Prohibition for Domestic Abusers

from Governor Wolf, November 13, 2017 [n.b. Senator Andy Dinniman, D-19, is among the 14 senators who introduced the bill]

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today called on the General Assembly to pass bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 501 sponsored by Senator Tom Killion (R-Delaware), that would prohibit domestic abusers subject to final Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders from possessing firearms. Across the country, recent mass shootings often have a common thread: perpetrators with a history of domestic violence.

“We must protect victims – spouses and children – of domestic violence and attempt to prevent domestic abusers from escalating their violence in everyday places that result in mass murder,” Governor Wolf said. “It is time for the General Assembly to act on this bipartisan, commonsense legislation to protect victims and reduce violence.”

According to recent research, from 2009 to 2016 in the U.S., there have been 156 mass shootings—incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed, not including the shooter. These incidents resulted in 1,187 victims shot: 848 people were shot and killed, and 339 people were shot and injured. The majority of mass shootings—54 percent of cases—were related to domestic or family violence.

Senate Bill 501 was introduced at the beginning of this session and referred to committee in late March of 2017. It has bipartisan sponsors from across the state in the Senate.

Governor Wolf has pushed for a package of reforms aimed at combatting domestic violence, including SB 501 and: Continue reading