House backs expansion of gun control in Violence Against Women Act

House backs expansion of gun control in Violence Against Women Act

Gun Rights

WASHINGTON — The House voted Thursday for a revised version of the Violence Against Women Act, overcoming opposition from the National Rifle Association to a provision of the bill expanding gun control. The vote was 263-158 for the Democratic-crafted legislation that would authorize hundreds of millions of dollars in annual grants to programs for victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse and stalking. It also closes what gun-control advocates call the “boyfriend loophole” – barring gun sales to convicted abusers of current or former dating partners. The measure also would prohibit gun sales to people found guilty of stalking misdemeanors and those under one-party restraining orders. The NRA opposes the bill based on these provisions and kept score on how lawmakers voted. The landmark 1994 law, frequently reauthorized over the years with little debate, expired with the 35-day government shutdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., saw an opportunity to revise the law to address an issue crucial to her new diverse freshman class – tighter limits on gun use – while appealing to suburban female voters ahead of the 2020 election. Both of Maine’s representatives, Chellie Pingree of the 1st District and Jared Golden of the 2nd District, voted in favor. The measure now goes to the Senate. Buoyed by a more-widespread embrace of gun control in their own ranks, Democrats seized on the NRA’s opposition with the support of outside activist group who have been pushing to expand prohibited gun sales. “Members have a decision to make,” Pelosi tweeted […]

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