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Expert Worried About Availability of Guns To Those With Domestic Violence Histories

(Police photo)

(Police photo)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

FEASTERVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities in Bucks County continue to investigate the death of a woman who was shot and killed by her ex-husband in Feasterville last week.

There are still questions surrounding how the 50-year-old man was able to get his hands on a shotgun.

Kenneth Philipp was released earlier this month from Bucks County Prison, where he was locked up for several months for violating a protection-from-abuse (PFA) order.

But he was able to get a shotgun and followed his ex-wife to a parking lot on Bustleton Pike where she was killed (see related story).  Philipp was later killed by police.

“Once a protection-from-abuse order is completed — in other words, you successfully made it through the order itself without any incident — there’s nothing to say you can’t have a gun again,” notes former prosecutor David Zellis, who chaired a domestic violence commission that issued a report recommending changes to better protect women — including the availability of guns.

He says he recommended to state and federal lawmakers to make it tougher for people with restraining orders against them to obtain guns, but he says there have been no changes.

Under the PFA, Philipp should have been required to surrender any firearms.  Overall, Zellis says, many PFAs are issued by the courts and many save lives.

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