Guest opinion: Congress aims to let domestic abusers carry guns

Guest opinion: Congress aims to let domestic abusers carry guns

As domestic violence prevention advocates in Livingston, my colleagues and I work tirelessly to keep survivors of domestic violence safe. However, “concealed carry reciprocity” legislation — currently pending in the U.S. Congress — would make Montanans less safe. Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed this dangerous legislation, and it’s expected to be voted on in the Senate later this year. As it stands now, every state decides for itself a set of standards for who can carry a concealed handgun in public, but if this legislation becomes law, it would force Montana (and every other state) to follow the laws of the least-restrictive states in the union. I am particularly concerned about this policy as an advocate for the prevention of domestic violence and abuse. Gun violence and domestic violence are inextricably linked, and we know that guns and domestic abusers are a deadly combination. More than half of the women killed with guns in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014 were killed by intimate family members, and the majority of mass shootings in the U.S. are related to domestic or family violence. When a gun is present in a domestic violence situation, it’s five times more likely that a woman will be killed. Federal law blocks abusers from possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a violent crime or are subject to a final restraining order. However, the law stops short and does not cover abusive dating partners or convicted stalkers from having guns. The […]

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