Today the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance three key gun safety reform bills, bills that are designed to save lives. The Committee voted to approve House Bills 2227, 2060, and 273. Each of these bills creates a process to make sure that someone in danger of harming themselves or others will at least temporarily be barred from possessing or purchasing firearms.
“We know thousands of constituents contacted the members of the Judiciary Committee to urge them to vote these bills to the Floor. We thank Chairman Marsico for holding days of hearings on public safety and gun violence prevention and bringing these bills to a vote, and we are so pleased the Judiciary Committee voted for these bills in such a strong, bipartisan fashion,” said Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFirePA.
HB 2227 creates an extreme risk protection order that allows families and law enforcement to petition judges to temporarily restrict a family member’s access to firearms if they believe that family member may do harm to themselves or others. This measure is aimed at preventing suicides and potentially mass shootings, and is in effect in 10 other states.
HB 2060 requires that those subject to a final protection from abuse order must relinquish their firearms within 24 hours. Under current state law, the judge has the discretion whether to order surrender, and when surrender is ordered, the individual has 60 days to surrender firearms, including to a third-party. HB 2060 changes this to 24 hours and limits the categories of persons to whom surrender may be made. We know that the combination of guns and domestic violence is lethal. This will help protect families in some of the most dangerous times.
Finally, HB 273 allows individuals to put themselves – temporarily – on a no-buy list. This also creates a tool for people in crisis to use to keep themselves and their families safe.
“This is the first time in years, strong bills to save lives will reach the House Floor,” said Goodman. “There is much work to be done, and we urge Pennsylvanians to let their representatives know they expect swift and certain action.”