Lawmakers, advocates back proposed gun legislation in Delaware County

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) – The Delaware County District Attorney says the man accused of shooting his ex-wife in a Radnor Wawa in last week, bought the gun legally 12 days before the shooting. Lawmakers, law enforcement and anti-gun-violence advocates met on the courthouse steps to back proposed legislation they say could have prevented the shooting.

“There’s some pretty compelling data out there about people who are in crisis and then use guns improperly either for mass-shootings or suicides purchasing a firearm pretty soon before they take that action,” said Pennsylvania state Rep. Todd Stephens.

He says an ERPO, an Extreme Risk Protection Order, could have possibly flagged Brian Kennedy, the man accused of shooting and killing Stephanie Miller inside the Wawa on Sugartown Road. And, if one had been filed against him, he would not have able to buy a gun.

ERPOs allow a loved one, family member or law enforcement to request a court order to temporarily restrict someone’s access to firearms, including removing any guns they already own.

More than a dozen other states have similar laws. Connecticut reports a 14 percent drop in suicides involving a gun since they passed their law, with about 1,000 gun suicides in Pennsylvania each year.

 “It is literally a life-saving policy,” said Delaware County District Attorney Kat Copeland. 

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