Remarkably, all 50 Pennsylvania state senators voted yes on Delaware Country Republican Sen. Thomas Killian’s bill to take guns away from people with a history of domestic violence.
It is remarkable because the Pennsylvania legislature is typically so cowed by the National Rifle Association that it deep-freezes even the most reasonable firearms safety measures. Even this common-sense bill, for example, sat in committee for a year before coming up for votes last week.
That’s a welcome indication of how much public sentiment has changed since the survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., called out the NRA for its constant, reckless promotion of deadly weaponry that has no place in hunting or sport shooting.
The past weekend’s powerful student-led demonstrations showed the depth of opposition to dangerously weak gun laws.
Pennsylvania legislators — and even the NRA — seem to feel the gathering winds of change.
The NRA was silent on the Pennsylvania bill, which requires anyone under a protection-from-abuse court order to surrender guns to law enforcement within 48 hours of its being issued. Currently, abusers have 60 days to comply and can stash guns with relatives or friends for easy retrieval the next time they want to hurt their victims.
This needed legislation still has to make it through the House, which may look at it in April. With the NRA briefly in a silent mode, even the most gutless of legislators should feel free to vote for constituent safety. House members should consider the victims, and pass it.