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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: July 8, 2015 02:30 PM
From: Representative Madeleine Dean
To: All House members
Subject: Firearm Restraining Order
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by adding a subchapter authorizing the issuance of firearm restraining orders in this Commonwealth.

Following in the footsteps of states that have enacted similar laws to prevent gun violence, including Texas, Connecticut, California, and Indiana, the intent of this legislation is to provide a mechanism for families, friends, and others, to petition the court for a firearm restraining order when there is good cause to believe an individual poses an immediate threat to the safety of a family, household member, or other person by possessing or having a firearm, other weapon, or ammunition in his custody or control. Although family and friends may be the first to notice early warning signs of a person in crisis, they have little recourse when lethal weapons are involved. Firearm restraining orders would aid individuals, communities, and law enforcement in preventing suicides, homicides and mass shootings (as occurred in Connecticut, California, Colorado, South Carolina, and other jurisdictions) and enhance public safety.

The term firearm restraining order would be defined as “an order entered by the court…prohibiting a named person from having in his custody or control, purchasing, possessing or receiving any firearm or ammunition.”

Similar to a protection from abuse order authorized under Title 23 (Domestic Relations), my legislation would give certain persons, including law enforcement officers, family or household members, the authority to petition the court for a firearm restraining order enjoining the subject of the petition from having in his custody or control, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. As provided in the legislation, a firearm restraining order would be issued for a fixed period of time—not to exceed one year.

This legislation would additionally make mandatory the issuance of a firearm restraining order in conjunction with a protection from abuse order.

To better protect the physical safety of the citizens of this Commonwealth, please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1030