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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new state law aimed at protecting domestic abuse survivors by forcing convicted domestic abusers to surrender their guns goes into effect today.
Act 79, first signed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in October 2018, requires those convicted of domestic violence or who have been issued final protection from abuse orders to surrender their guns to law enforcement within 24 hours unless otherwise specified by a judge.
Individuals convicted of domestic abuse previously had up to 60 days to relinquish their firearms.
Act 79 also eliminates the issue of domestic abusers relinquishing their guns to friends or family members, as was previously allowed. Now, they must turn their firearms over to law enforcement.
“With Act 79, victims of domestic abuse will know that Pennsylvania is working to protect them from their abusers,” Gov. Wolf said. “The incidents of domestic violence where guns are involved in our commonwealth prove that this commonsense law is an important step to protect victims of domestic abuse, save lives, and hold abusers accountable for their actions.”