Last Year, in Pennsylvania, 117 People Were Killed in Domestic Violence Crimes. House Bill 2060 Could Prevent That If Only State Legislatures Stood Up and Voted! | Newtown News of Interest |

Saying, “it should be a law right now,” state Rep. Marguerite Quinn, criticized lawmakers Thursday for failing to call for a vote on her bill requiring convicted domestic violence abusers and some with protection from abuse orders to turn over their weapons within 24 hours of conviction.

Quinn, R-143, Doylestown, blamed “a bomb of the midnight hour,” for derailing House Bill 2060, which many had expected to pass because it had gained widespread bipartisan support. After late opposition and questions about some of the provisions in the bill, House Republican leaders ended the voting session for the summer. There’s now no chance for a floor vote until September.

“Despite claims to the contrary, this legislation does not take firearms away from responsible gun owners,” said Quinn, at a meeting in the Bucks County Administration Building in Doylestown Borough. “It takes guns away from people who lost their right to own a gun.”

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub attended the morning meeting, as did the executive director of Network of Victims Assistance, the past president of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition, a representative of Moms Demand Action and family law attorney Jessica Pritchard. All spoke to the need for legislation to better protect families and others from gun violence.

“I was very disappointed (the bill) got submarined at the last minute,” Weintraub said. “There’s a strong link between gun violence and domestic violence.” He added police officer safety is also a concern.

Last year, in Pennsylvania, 117 people were killed in domestic violence crimes, the district attorney said. Citing the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Weintraub said 44 police officers were shot and killed in the U.S. in 2017. Seven of those deaths occurred when officers were responding to a domestic violence disturbance, which is the leading cause of firearms-related deaths.

“This bill is good and it’s necessary,” Weintraub said. It has the support of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and several other law enforcement and victim advocacy organizations.

In noting recent opposition to the legislation from a political action committee, Firearm Owners Against Crime, Weintraub was adamant. “I’m a gun owner and I fight crime every day and I support this bill,” he said.