VAWA would close the ‘boyfriend loophole’ in gun bans. That’s huge.

VAWA would close the ‘boyfriend loophole’ in gun bans. That’s huge.

Gun Rights

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 13: Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., speaks during a House Democrats’ news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, to discuss plans to educate immigrant communities for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in November. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would expand measures designed to protect victims of intimate partner violence. The new law would close what is known as the “boyfriend loophole,” and extend some of the law’s protections prohibiting firearm possession to include dating partners. The original law expired in February, and the House will vote on the new legislation this week. But the bill is facing massive opposition from Republican lawmakers and the National Rifle Association (NRA). Some Republicans have already said they won’t vote for it due to its expanded measures. Currently, people convicted of domestic abuse are only prohibited from possessing guns if they live with the victim, have a child with them, are a parent or guardian, or they are, or were once, married to them. This leaves out many cases of intimate partner violence, and the VAWA reauthorization would expand this to include dating partners, stalkers, and former partners. Lindsay Nichols, federal policy director at the Giffords Law Center, which provides legal assistance to lawmakers, activists, and government attorneys for gun control efforts, told ThinkProgress that the provisions recognizing stalkers are an important addition to this law. Advertisement “While stalking is […]

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