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Group pushes bills to protect crime victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - A bipartisan group of senators stood in front of the Capitol steps on Tuesday, demanding action to protect victims of domestic abuse.

A package of seven bills is being pushed. Sen. Camera Bartolotta plans to introduce Tierne's Law that would allow courts to determine if someone is a physical threat before releasing them on bail.

"It is our job, it is our duty, and it is our privilege to create legislation that will protect victims," Bartolotta said.

Another bill would establish Marsy's Law, a bill of rights for crime victims. It would provide law enforcement protection for victims when protection from abuse orders are served. Defendants could no longer turn over firearms to a family member or friend.

Dozens of members of "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America" were at the Capitol to support that bill, including Ray Warner. 

"The first month after being served with a PFA is the most dangerous time for victims, and without the threat of weapons in the home, they can feel a lot more secure," Warner said.

In an era where partisan fighting seems to be the norm in politics, lawmakers on both sides are happy to set aside their differences to help victims.

"It's not a Republican issue, it's not a Democrat issue. It's not a rural, suburban, urban issue. It's a Pennsylvania issue," Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said.

As long as the weather doesn't keep lawmakers away, this package of bills is expected to pass the Senate and go to the House on Wednesday. 

Gov. Tom Wolf released a statement encouraging lawmakers to send the bills to his desk.


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