Posted by 15 October 2018
It will soon be tougher for Pennsylvanians convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse or who have a protection from abuse order against them to access firearms.
Governor Tom Wolf recently signed a bill into law that would require anyone covered by these two conditions to relinquish their firearms to the police or a licensed gun dealer within 24 hours. Previously they had 60 days to relinquish their firearms and they could give them to a family member or someone else.
This new law would set a $5,000 penalty for someone who fails to comply. It would allow the gun owner to request his or her firearms back after the relinquishment period is over. If they do not do so, then they will forfeit them.
Supporters of the law argue that it is necessary because domestic abusers would give their firearms to a friend or family member, but could easily have access to them. They say that forcing abusers to turn over their guns to police within 24 hours will protect abuse victims. Opponents of the bill argued that it would be more practical to have a 48-hour surrender period and allow someone to relinquish his or her guns to a friend instead of law enforcement.
This legislation has earned praise from David Hogg, the former student of Parkland high school in Florida who became a gun control activists after a shooting at his school.
Do you think that people convicted of domestic abuse should be forced to turn their guns over to the police? Or should they be able to surrender their guns to friends and family?