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Candidates In 28th House Race Clash Over Gun Legislation

Matt Rourke

The Democrat running against State House Speaker Mike Turzai says the Republican isn’t taking domestic violence legislation seriously.

The accusation comes after a man facing domestic-abuse charges opened fire outside of a Fayette County courtroom on Wednesday, injuring four people.


“This did not need to happen and could have been prevented by legislation already passed unanimously by our state Senate,” Democrat Emily Skopov said.


Skopov said she supports House Bill 2060, a bill meant to strengthen Protection From Abuse orders, in part by requiring that people who are convicted of domestic violence to turn over their firearms to an authorized third party within two days.


“I don’t think I have to reinvent the wheel [regarding domestic violence legislation],” Skopov said. “I think a lot of people have done the hard work, now it’s just getting it to a fair vote.”


She accused Turzai of burying HB 2060, but Turzai called the accusation “outrageous.”

“It's a lie,” he said. “I mean, it's somebody who is making use of a tragedy to hurry a political point that is not correct and did not even bother to check the record.”

Turzai said he has publicly supported the bill, but it's the majority leader's job to bring it to a vote. Turzai predicted the vote will take place after legislators return to Harrisburg next week.


Similar legislation has already passed in the Senate: HB 2060 largely adopts language that Senators passed unanimously, though it was amended in a House committeeto water down some of its provisions.


“We’re still opposed to it, even more now,” said Kim Stolfer, a gun-rights advocate and the president of Firearm Owners Against Crime -- a gun-rights political action committee.


“The purpose of the bill is supposedly protect women from abuse. But does it? No.”