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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Senate gun bill closes ‘boyfriend loophole’ and gives rapists a chance to ‘fix’

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan gun safety bill introduced in the Senate this week will close the infamous “boyfriend loophole” — with a catch.

Date partners convicted of misdemeanors in domestic violence are disqualified from guns under the sentence, but only for five years if they avoid committing another violent crime.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.), lead GOP negotiator, said the opportunity for someone to get their gun back is an incentive “for people who have made a mistake, committed domestic violence, and received a misdemeanor conviction to right their wrongs.” . act and not repeat it.

According to an analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 70 women are shot each month by an intimate partner. gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

Federal law already prohibits gun ownership by individuals convicted of domestic violence against a spouse or person with whom they share a child or address. Dating partners who live apart have been exempt from the ban — which is why gun control advocates call it a loophole for guys.

The recent bipartisan gun law passed by the House of Representatives will close the loophole by preventing the offender from regaining their gun rights, as is currently the case for convicted spouses or parents. The injunction also applies to people subject to injunctions.

Last week, the senators working on the deal said the boyfriend loophole was one of their last major hurdles. The adoption of a temporary gun ban, instead of a permanent one, apparently helped close the deal.

The negotiators also came up with a narrower definition of “dating partner” than that adopted by the House of Representatives. The new definition takes into account the “length” and “nature” of the relationship, as well as the “frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved,” while the House bill states that it does not matter if any sexual contact has taken place in the relationship. The Senate text is reminiscent of the language used to identify dating partners in a number of state domestic violence laws.

“We’re closing the loophole for the guy,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), lead Democratic negotiator, said Tuesday. “States that have already taken this step have experienced a 10% reduction in intimate partner deaths.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) told HuffPost that “there were a lot of complexities,” but declined to go into details of how the negotiators came to the partnership agreement before the Senate actually passed the bill.

“It’s like asking a surgeon to talk about an operation in the middle of a procedure,” Blumenthal said.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, called the bill “an important and lifesaving step forward,” adding that her organization “will continue to work with domestic violence organizations to protect more women from armed abusers.”

broader bill, which would require closer scrutiny of teen gun buyers and provide funding for mental health services, school safety and “state crisis intervention orders”, passed a procedural vote on Tuesday and could be passed by the Senate as early as this week. Fourteen Republicans voted for him, making his support entirely bipartisan.

Democrats, who have been pushing to close the boyfriend loophole, praised the bill.

“I’m especially pleased that it incorporates provisions from a bill I’ve been pushing for years to close a loophole for guys to keep guns from falling into the hands of abusive dating partners convicted of domestic violence,” Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota). said.

In the past, the National Rifle Association and the Republicans have opposed closing the loophole for the guys. Last year, Senator Steve Danes (R-Montana) questioned whether “a misdemeanor [should] become a line for which a person can lose a constitutional right.

Cornyn called the bill a “step in the right direction” almost a month after an 18-year-old legally purchased an assault rifle to kill 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The Democrats sought to limit the sale of rifles to those under 21, but instead the negotiators settled on enhanced background checks. Cornyn suggested that mental health measures could prevent future teenage militants like the killer Uvalde.

The Texas Republican also emphasized that the bill does not violate gun rights for those who are not convicted of a crime, calling the boyfriend loophole provision a safeguard for victims of domestic violence.

“It shouldn’t matter if the person is married to their abuser if the abuser is convicted of domestic violence and a lot of people are in what I would call non-traditional relationships, whether they live together, have a child together, or they just have a long-term romantic or intimate relationship,” Kornin said.

National Rifle Association oppose a billalthough the organization did not specify which provisions drew its ire, stating instead that the legislation opens the door for “unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners.”

Various provisions of the law on background checks and domestic violence are likely to be popular with voters, Cornyn noted Tuesday, pointing to recent polls.

“Eighty-six percent of gun-owning households support this kind of domestic violence victim advocacy that too often involves guns,” Kornin said. “Again, this does not limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners, unless someone has been convicted of domestic violence under state law. Their gun rights will not be affected.”

World Nation News Desk
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