House approves domestic violence law with new gun restrictions and transgender provisions

House approves domestic violence law with new gun restrictions and transgender provisions

Gun Rights

The House Thursday approved reauthorization and expansion of a domestic violence protection law that includes new gun ownership restrictions and adds new protections for transgendered individuals. The measure, authored by the Democratic majority, passed mostly along party lines. It updates the Violence Against Women Act, originally passed in 1994 and expanded in 2013, but which lapsed during the recent government shutdown. New provisions would prevent those convicted of stalking or dating violence from obtaining firearms and would require the Bureau of Prisons to house prisoners based on gender identity. It would also provide transgendered women access to women’s shelters. “With this bill, we are reinforcing what we did 25 years ago and what we did in 2013,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday. “We are making it stronger with the legislation today with lifesaving updates that reflect the voices of survivors and the input of experts.” Republicans who argued against the bill cited the new provisions aimed at transgendered individuals and gun owners. Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., a domestic assault survivor, said allowing biological men access to women’s shelters has some cases subjected women to assaults and has made them fearful of using those shelters. “We must give those who are sheltering and serving women he tools to keep them safe,” Lesko said. Lesko said banning gun ownership for those convicted of misdemeanors violates the Constitution. “I agree we need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, but expanding laws to prohibit individuals form exercising […]

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