|Posted:||February 2, 2023 12:11 PM|
|From:||Representative Scott Conklin|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Save Lives, Track the Whereabouts of Domestic Abusers!|
|Sadly, studies have shown that the presence of a firearm increases the likelihood of a domestic violence situation turning deadly. Previously, the General Assembly approved legislation, Act 79 of 2018, requiring a person who is the subject of an active final protection from abuse (PFA) order to relinquish their firearms to their local law enforcement agency within 24 hours of conviction. While a great first step in protecting victims of domestic abuse, the law does not reduce the threat of additional violence towards the victim before the approval of a PFA.
In 2013, my long-time family friend, Traci Ann Raymond Miscavish, was murdered by her estranged husband. Disguising himself in a trench coat and wig, all the while concealing a loaded shotgun, Mr. Miscavish stalked Traci outside of her place of employment until she arrived for work. Upon noticing Mr. Miscavish, Traci ran and hid in a back office with a fellow co-worker. Mr. Miscavish kicked in the door and shot Traci twice in the chest before mortally wounding himself. Prior to her death, Traci expressed her fear of her estranged husband and was extremely troubled by his repeated threats to murder her. Had current Commonwealth law regarding firearms ownership and PFAs been in place, Traci’s life would still have been in great danger because her husband still had access to firearms and his whereabouts were not being monitored. I believe that if Mr. Miscavish had been ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device when the PFA order became final on February 5, 2013, Traci may be alive today.
Nearly half of the United States already permits electronic monitoring of abusers in cases of domestic violence. It is time that Pennsylvania join these other states in protecting spouses or significant others lives from potential gun violence. Please join me in enacting this commonsense reform and saving domestic abuse victims’ lives.