Pa. Senate OKs bill to toughen gun laws in domestic abuse cases

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The Pennsylvania Senate is giving its unanimous approval to a bill to force people with a domestic violence ruling against them to more quickly give up their firearms.

The Senate's 50-0 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the House. 

Under the bill, people convicted of a domestic violence crime would have 48 hours to give up their firearms to a law enforcement agency, a federally licensed firearms dealer or their lawyer. Under current law, people convicted of domestic violence have 60 days and can give their guns to a relative, friend or neighbor.

In addition, defendants in final protection-from-abuse cases would have to hand over their guns in 24 hours. Current law leaves forfeiture to a judge's discretion.

Failing to hand over a firearm would be a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison.

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