Over 3.3 million Pennsylvania residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Pennsylvania reported 1,168 domestic violence homicides from 2009 to 2018, 56% of whom died by firearms. An abuser’s access to firearms can determine a victim’s chances of survival; domestic violence firearm prohibitions and removal laws save lives.
Pennsylvania prohibits possession of firearms by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and persons subject to protection from abuse orders if the order requires removal of firearms. A court issuing an ex parte or final protection from abuse order may require removal of firearms if certain criteria are met.