Editorial: Take guns from abusers; no one should have to 'live in fear' – The Delaware County Daily Times

It was not by accident that Kathy Stone found herself holding up a copy of the Daily Times during a press conference at the Delaware County Courthouse Tuesday.

That Thursday, Aug. 16 edition of the newspaper detailed the night of horror endured by a woman in Upper Chichester. She was shot four times by her husband during a night of rage and domestic violence – all of which played out in front of their three children.

The husband eventually led police on a high-speed chase into Philadelphia, where he took his own life.

All of this played out despite the fact that the woman had taken out a Protection From Abuse order against her husband. In fact, at the time of the latest incident, the husband was awaiting a hearing on a contempt citation for violating the PFA.

Police said the couple’s home was a frequent location of domestic disturbances. They described the woman’s harried life as “living in fear.”

The fact that her husband still had access to a gun only made matters worse, and almost cost the woman her life.

Stone, the head of the Delaware County Domestic Abuse Project, and a group of local elected officials gathered at the courthouse Tuesday in the latest push to change that.

They rallied on behalf of House Bill 2060, which would require someone found guilty of a domestic violence incident or subject to a final protection from abuse order to turn over their firearms within 24 hours. And very importantly, they must do so to law enforcement or a licensed gun dealer. Current law allows an abuser 60 days to relinquish their firearms, and also lets them do so to a friend or family member. That too often has traffic consequences, with the abuser still gaining access to a gun.

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