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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Republicans seek to undo lifelong gun ban for misdemeanor domestic violence

Republicans involved in Washington bipartisan gun safety talks sought to undo a lifetime ban on gun ownership for some domestic abusers as part of the package.

Before the deal became law on Saturday, federal sanctions banned gun ownership for those convicted of domestic violence against a spouse or intimate partner with whom they lived or shared a child. but did not include dating partners.

The final settlement bill closed the so-called lover loophole, but it came with a catch: After a five-year period, convicted persons could get their gun rights back, as long as they had committed another violent crime during that time. refrain from committing crimes.

The conditional five-year limit on the abused gun ban was a key concession by Democrats to secure Republican support for closing the loophole, which Sen. Kirsten Cinemas (D-Ariz.) championed in talks. ,

Republicans also wanted to create a way for spouses and other intimate partners to get their guns back. But a source familiar with the talks described it as a “no go” for Democrats.

A spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) confirmed that Republicans want to provide restoration of gun rights for spouses and similarly located misdemeanor offenders.

“This category currently has a lifetime restriction and we pushed for this to change,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who led the talks for Democrats, told HuffPost last week that Republicans had a legitimate desire to give people convicted of misdemeanors their gun rights, as not all states allow misdemeanors. Huh. Offenders have to apply for clemency to clear their records.

But a lifetime ban on gun ownership will be imposed even if current or former wives are convicted of a domestic violence offense.

Referring to dating partners, Murphy said, “It was just a desire to apply it to this new population.” “It was the nature of the compromise.”

The cinema’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Several categories of people are prohibited by federal law from possessing guns, including felonies who have been “mentally defective” or dishonestly discharged from the military. Gun rights groups question whether a misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony, should rank someone on the “prohibited persons” list.

For example, the National Rifle Association opposed closing the Lover’s loophole, saying the lifetime gun ban on felony domestic violence offenses unfairly violates Second Amendment rights.

“There is good reason that rights are not terminated for life on the basis of a conviction of misconduct,” The NRA Institute for Legislative Action wrote in a blog post Last week. “Apart from a law that sees misconduct, conduct less stringent than felony conduct, defendants of misdemeanors are not always provided with the same level of complete due process that is charged with a felony.”

The group said that a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and a lifetime gun ban could result “only from touching a person’s clothing, bag, or anything they are holding in their hand in a completely nonviolent manner.” “

In more than two-thirds of mass shootings from 2014 to 2019, the perpetrator killed family members or an intimate partner, or had a history of domestic violence, according to one 2021 paper Published in the Journal of Injury Epidemiology.

The boyfriend loophole provision was an unexpected part of a bipartisan gun deal that came in the wake of two mass shootings by teenagers in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, in which more than 30 people were killed. The core group of negotiators included Murphy, Cinema, Cornyn and Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.).

The bill – the most significant gun reform in decades – provides funding for mental health services and expands background checks for juvenile gun buyers.

Although Republicans last year blocked bills re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act because it closed the boyfriend’s loophole, some Republicans publicly favor gun rights for convicted abusers. reasoned given.

Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, however, described the new gun deal as “soft on offense“Because it allows abusive dating partners to get their guns back after five years.

“People who have been charged, tried and convicted of beating their significant other will get their gun rights back after just five years,” Scott said. He was not among 15 Republicans who voted for the bill.

Tillis told HuffPost last week that Scott’s criticism of gun rights restoration has put him at odds with gun rights advocates.

“So I think his argument is that he would never want to have people who are being considered for permanent reinstatement, which is against many gun rights groups,” Tillis said.

Igor Bobik contributed reporting.

World Nation News Desk
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