Law to take guns in domestic violence cases to go into effect

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A new Pennsylvania law that forces people with a domestic violence ruling against them to quickly surrender their guns takes effect on Wednesday.

Act 79 of 2018, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in October, requires anyone who has been served a final protection from abuse order or convicted of domestic violence to surrender their guns within 24 hours. 

Previously, state law allowed a 60-day surrender window.

Defendants may no longer give their guns to family members or friends. They are required to surrender their guns to law enforcement, a licensed firearms dealer, or an attorney.

“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,” Wolf said in a statement Tuesday.

“Act 79 taking effect is a reminder that we need to do more to pass commonsense gun safety reforms, including universal background checks,” Wolf said. “We owe all Pennsylvanians a safe place to live and we need to continue working together to make that a reality.”

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