U.S. Senate Hearing Tackles Domestic Gun Violence | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

U.S. Senate Hearing Tackles Domestic Gun Violence

Majority of all Women Killed with Firearms are Killed by Intimate Partner; Expanded Background Checks Critical Part of Solution

July 30, 2014 Contact: Jennifer Fuson 202-370-8128 jfuson [at] bradymail [dot] org

Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on legislation to extend protections for victims of domestic gun violence is an important step in efforts to protect women from domestic violence. The legislation would close dangerous loopholes in current federal law and prevent convicted stalkers as well as domestic abusers under temporary restraining orders from purchasing firearms.

“It is tragically clear that our federal domestic violence laws are woefully inadequate in protecting women and children from gun violence. We need to do everything we can to close the loopholes that make it far too easy for domestic abusers to get their hands on guns,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. A report issued by the Center for American Progress shows that more than half of the women murdered with guns in the U.S. were killed by intimate partners or family members.

“The bills being discussed at this hearing are very important measures, but to have the greatest possible impact on protecting women from domestic abusers, Congress must also act to expand background checks to gun sales made online and at gun shows," added Gross.

According to the Brady Campaign, roughly 40 percent of gun sales are processed without a background check, allowing dangerous individuals, including domestic abusers and stalkers, to easily obtain guns online or from a gun show.

“Background checks on gun sales work to protect victims of domestic violence. In states that require background checks on all gun sales, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners,” added Gross. “We believe that expanding Brady background checks to all commercial gun sales is critical to any conversation focused on protecting women from domestic violence.”

The tragic death of Zina Daniel illustrates how dangerous the loopholes in our background check system are to victims of domestic violence. In 2012, Zina Daniel filed a restraining order against her abusive husband, prohibiting him from buying firearms. However, current loopholes in the system allowed Zina’s husband to go online and purchase a handgun through Armslist.com without a background check. He used that gun to kill Zina, two other women and injure four others at a hair salon outside Milwaukee, WI. Elvin Daniel, Zina’s brother and NRA member, will testify at the hearing.

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