Keller @ Large: Domestic Abuse Legislation Tests NRA’s Clout

Keller @ Large: Domestic Abuse Legislation Tests NRA’s Clout

Gun Rights

BOSTON (CBS) – Since 1994, the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has provided help for police and other agencies in their battle against domestic violence. But the funding for it ran out during the recent government shutdown. And a bitter partisan fight has broken out ahead of Thursday’s scheduled vote to restore it. “All women deserve the right to live free from fear and that is what today is all about,” said President Barack Obama in 2013 when he signed the third re-authorization of the VAWA. But in a sign of things to come, that round of re-funding lacked the automatic bipartisan support of previous efforts, as Republicans objected to extending domestic violence protection funding to same-sex couples and other new measures. And the bill to be voted on Thursday includes something Democrats have long sought – removal of the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which allows unmarried men with violent records to do what married men cannot: buy a gun. “Why would you not close a simple loophole that says if someone has been convicted – convicted, not accused, convicted – of domestic violence or stalking, that they not have access to a gun?” says Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan). But the National Rifle Association begs to differ, and in a key test of their congressional clout, they’re pushing Republicans to keep the boyfriend loophole. In a video posted on the Heritage Foundation website, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona), herself a survivor of abuse by her estranged ex-husband, makes the case […]

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