Tell your senators to pass H.R. 1620 – the “Violence Against Women Act” for ALL women! Close the “Boyfriend Loophole!”

Quote from Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 2014, by Christopher Schmaling, Sheriff, Racine County, Racine, Wisconsin.

One would assume that legislation called the “Violence Against Women Act” included meaningful steps to prevent violence against women…

Apparently, Republicans and the NRA are willing to live with the Lautenberg Amendment, (for now) the 1996 law that removes guns from the abusive husbands or live-in boyfriends of their daughters, sisters and mothers. They are, however, unwilling to expand that protection to women threatened by violent dating partners or stalkers, despite statistics showing that victims of this “Boyfriend Loophole” are dying in equal or greater numbers. And they don’t give a hoot for the lives or opinions of law enforcement officers either. Sheriff Schmaling stated, “Abusers routinely threaten to shoot my deputies prior to our arrival at domestic violence calls….”

One bill – H.R.1906/S.527Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act specifically addresses the Boyfriend Loophole. However, the far more comprehensive H.R.1620Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act has already passed the House with it’s own loophole-closing language. Unfortunately, due to GOP/NRA opposition, senators have announced a compromise bill (S.3623) that scraps the House version’s Sec. 801 and 802 – proven “HOMICIDE REDUCTION” stategies against abusive boyfriends and stalkers.

This deal hasn’t passed either the House or the Senate yet. Currently, nine Senate Republicans back this compromise, though lawmakers will need one more for the bill to pass. Democrats say they’ll continue looking for a 10th Republican senator to support the deal, which won’t be able to pass the upper chamber until they find one.

Call your senators and be sure your friends and family in RED states call theirs.
All those threatened by gun violence by stalkers and violent partners of any kind, and the law enforcement officers often placed between them, should have equal access to the protection afforded to those covered by the original Lautenberg Amendment.

Minimal Script for DEM senators: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [___] to strongly support H.R. 1620 – The “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act” with its language closing the “Boyfriend Loophole”! Why would the senator deny women facing violent boyfriends and predatory stalkers equal access to the protections of the federal law against domestic violence. Why would you ignore the please of law enforcement officials whose officers have died protecting them? Do better for us!

Continue reading “Tell your senators to pass H.R. 1620 – the “Violence Against Women Act” for ALL women! Close the “Boyfriend Loophole!””