One thing that has very big ramifications for domestic violence survivors is what protections they can receive under the laws of their state, including the laws on protecting domestic abuse victims from gun violence. Last week, a bill was signed by Pennsylvania's governor which will make some changes to these laws.
The new law changes the rules on the surrender of guns in Pennsylvania domestic violence cases. Previously, individuals required to relinquish firearms in a domestic violence case would have up to 60 days to do so.
Under the new law, domestic abusers who have had a protective order issued against them or who have received a misdemeanor conviction on domestic violence crimes will be required to surrender any guns they own within 24 hours. An exception under this new law is that courts will be allowed to grant extensions to the new 24-hour deadline.
Additionally, the new law will not allow individuals to give their guns to neighbors, family members, or friends upon surrender.
Advocates for the bill say they focused on the message of domestic violence prevention. The new bill targets the dangerous period when one partner tries to leave a relationship by reporting the other to law enforcement or seeking a restraining order.
There are many questions individuals can have after facing the horrors of domestic abuse in Pennsylvania, including what protections are available for the victims. Skilled attorneys can provide abuse victims with compassionate guidance and assist them with getting the protections they need.