Readers Write: The ‘boyfriend loophole’ in gun law, gun control, Minneapolis housing

Gun Rights

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is currently awaiting reauthorization by the U.S. Senate when legislators reconvene in September, and concerned citizens should be contacting their senators to pressure them to approve and pass this important bill. In April, the House companion bill passed but was opposed by 158 representatives on the basis of the inclusion of language in the bill that would close the “boyfriend loophole.” This loophole currently does not prevent people convicted of abusing, stalking and assaulting current or former dating partners from buying or owning a firearm. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500% . The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s Femicide Report for 2017 reports 19 women murdered and five friends/family members/bystanders who intervened killed due to intimate partner violence. Ten of these homicides were due to gunshots. Actual numbers could be far higher; however, Minnesota’s laws prohibit the Department of Health from collecting firearm data regarding lawful firearm ownership or related to an individual’s right to carry a weapon. The pressure to protect all victims of gun violence should include changing the laws that protect perpetrators of violence. We need research to understand the extent of the issue, and we need VAWA to pass in order to protect survivors while we wait. I’ve noticed several articles lately about the identification of potential mass shooters. I was very impressed with the one written by Erika Christensen, […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.