House Republicans, at NRA's urging, vote against Violence Against Women Act

House Republicans, at NRA’s urging, vote against Violence Against Women Act

Gun Rights

When the House of Representatives voted this week to reauthorize a 25-year old bill that helps fund programs for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), it turned into a debate over gun rights and the political influence of the National Rifle Association. One-hundred fifty-seven Republicans opposed the bill on Thursday, many objecting to a provision that restricts those convicted of domestic abuse, assault or stalking from buying or owning a firearm, saying it infringes on Second Amendment rights . MORE: Domestic violence plays a role in many mass shootings, but receives less attention: Experts Current law already prohibits spouses or former spouses convicted of abuse from purchasing a firearms, but a new amendment to the bill would close the so-called "boyfriend loophole," adding unmarried partners to the language. The NRA mounted a campaign against the act, urging lawmakers to vote against it. "The gun control lobby and anti-gun politicians are intentionally politicizing the Violence Against Women Act as a smoke screen to push their gun control agenda," NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker told the Associated Press. Baker insisted the group opposes domestic violence and all violent crime, and told the AP the group annually spends millions to teach Americans how to safely use firearms in self-defense. “I am deeply disappointed that some Republican Members of this House are using the NRA as cover to vote against this reauthorization, which has been overwhelmingly in a bipartisan fashion reauthorized over and over again," said […]

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