Violence Against Women Act Does Violence to the Constitution

Violence Against Women Act Does Violence to the Constitution

Gun Rights

A common trick of big-government loving politicians is to give legislation names so appealing that it seems no reasonable person could oppose it. The truth is, the more unobjectionable the title, the more objectionable the content. Two well-known examples are the “PATRIOT Act” and the “Access to Affordable and Quality Care Act.” Another great example is the Violence Against Women Act. Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act provides federal grants to, and imposes federal mandates on, state and local governments with the goal of increasing arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of those who commit domestic violence. Like most federal laws, the Violence Against Women Act is unconstitutional. The Constitution limits federal jurisdiction to three crimes: counterfeiting, treason, and piracy. All other crimes — including domestic violence — are strictly state and local matters. The law also forbids anyone subject to a restraining order obtained by a spouse or a domestic partner from owning a gun. This is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment’s prohibition on federal laws denying anyone the right to own a gun. Whether someone subject to a restraining order, or convicted of a violent crime, should lose their rights to own firearms is a question to be decided by state and local officials. At least the current law requires individuals receive due process before the government can deprive them of their Second Amendment rights. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation reauthorizing and making changes to the Violence Against Women Act. The most disturbing […]

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