Keep guns from abusers – Scranton Times-Tribune

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When the state House returns from its six-week summer vacation, it should pass a bill to protect domestic abuse victims from gun violence. (Associated Press File)

Guns are the overwhelming weapon of choice for people who end domestic disputes by killing the other party. According to the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, 78 of 117 people in Pennsylvania who died due to domestic violence in 2017 were shot.

State law facilitates the carnage. It allows 60 days for people convicted of domestic abuse to relinquish their firearms. And they may turn over those weapons to a relative or friend.

When a court approves a civil protection from abuse order against someone, it’s up to the judge to decide whether the person under the order must relinquish firearms.

Despite the bloodshed in Pennsylvania, the domestic abuse/firearms issued did not get a serious review by the state Legislature until Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and staff members Feb. 14 at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Cruz had been able to buy weapons despite his history of domestic violence.

With uncharacteristic speed, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill in March that would require someone convicted of domestic abuse to relinquish his firearms within 24 hours. It also would require that the guns be surrendered to police or a federally licensed firearms dealer.

It also would require anyone under a protection-from-abuse order to turn over his weapons until the order is lifted.

After Senate passage, the House Judiciary Committee altered the legislation and it did not proceed to the full House for a vote before the Legislature left in early August for its six-week summer vacation.

Now, there are few session days left to pass a bill and reconcile differences with the Senate version. If it

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