Domestic violence law approved by House amid dispute over guns

Domestic violence law approved by House amid dispute over guns

Gun Rights

WASHINGTON — The House voted Thursday to reauthorize a 25-year-old law that helps victims of domestic and sexual violence, despite complaints by Republicans that Democrats were politicizing the popular law by expanding gun control. The bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act includes a provision making it easier to take away guns from violent offenders even if they are not a spouse or domestic partner. The amendment closes the so-called "boyfriend loophole" by barring those convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a current or former dating partner from buying or owning a firearm. Supporters said the measure was crucial to protect women in the United States, who die from gun violence at rates far higher than other high-income countries. But the National Rifle Association and some Republicans called the measure a political trap intended to portray gun-rights supporters as anti-women. The House approved the bill, 263-158, sending it to the Senate. Thirty-three Republicans joined with Democrats to support the bill. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota was the only Democrat to oppose it. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican, accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of intentionally allowing the domestic violence law to expire in February despite bipartisan support for extending it. "Nancy Pelosi forced it to expire so she could use women as part of some political leverage," Scalise said at a news conference Thursday. He accused Pelosi, D-Calif., of trying to "use different groups of people as pawns in her political game." Pelosi said the gun-control provisions […]

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