Can the Federal Safer Communities Act Make a Difference in Philadelphia?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

In June 2022, the federal government passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which, among other things, introduced a regulation to crack down on gun sales by introducing an enhanced review process, penalties for illegal gunrunners, and clarifying the definition of a federally licensed firearms dealer. The hope is that with more regulations in place, the threat of violence will be reduced across the country. But how will this affect individuals with Protection From Abuse orders against them?

Protection From Abuse Orders

A Protection From Abuse order (PFA) is often awarded by Pennsylvania courts to protect victims from instances of alleged repeated domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The judge will stipulate the parameters of the PFA, which will include how long it lasts and how far the defendant must stay in relation to the alleged victim.

While the PFAs are intended for good, they can, unfortunately, have disastrous effects on other areas of a defendant's life. For instance, if the alleged victim and defendant live together, it will force the defendant to move out. Additionally, a PFA could prevent a parent from seeing or caring for their children, engaging in their own business, or being able to recover personal items from the residence.

Safer Communities Act and Philadelphia

Pennsylvania is a very pro-gun state. Individuals with PFAs do not necessarily have to relinquish their firearms after it goes into place. The court will instead determine whether or not there is an immediate and present danger of abuse or if, during the alleged abuse, a firearm was used. If either of these factors are present in a particular case, the court will restrict the defendant from owning a firearm. In this case, defendants must hand over their firearms to the sheriff or police station. Firearms and PFAs tend to be inextricably linked because most PFAs result from domestic violence cases. In domestic violence cases, a defendant must always relinquish their firearms for their, and their supposed victim's, safety.

If the Safer Communities Act takes hold in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia residents with PFAs will find harsher punishments for refusing to relinquish their firearms. Additionally, if an individual with a PFA is caught purchasing a firearm from a seller without a federal license or is caught selling firearms without a federal license, not only will they be criminally charged for this illegal behavior, but the charges could be increased because they are subject to a PFA.

How A Criminal Attorney Can Help

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years helping individuals defend themselves from Protections from Abuse orders in Pennsylvania. If you are a gun owner with a PFA against them, it is imperative you speak with a criminal defense attorney about next steps. Don't let this new legislation blindside you. Attorney Lento and his expert team can help. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation or visit us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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