FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Max Samis, Press Secretary
Brady Campaign Welcomes Legislation to Keep Guns Away from Domestic Abusers
Washington, D.C., January 17, 2019 – With more than 525 women shot and killed by intimate partners every year, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence welcomed the introduction of H.R. 569 and S. 120, bipartisan bills that close dangerous loopholes allowing domestic abusers and stalkers to obtain guns. The organization thanked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for their leadership on the issue, noting the importance of updating current law to protect innocent victims.
Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign, stated,
“A woman is shot and killed by a current or former partner every 16 hours. We need to do everything we can to make sure that domestic abusers don’t have access to firearms. We cannot accept half measures on this front - every moment wasted means another victim terrorized by their abuser. Just the mere presence of a gun is a key factor in an abusive partner turning into a killer, and allowing these loopholes to remain intact threatens innocent lives. We’re grateful to Sen. Klobuchar and Reps. Dingell and Fitzpatrick for introducing these strong, bipartisan bills to take action once and for all.”
H.R. 569 and S. 120 make important changes long advocated by gun violence prevention and domestic violence prevention advocates. First, they would close the “boyfriend loophole,” which excludes as prohibited purchasers current or former dating partners who were convicted of domestic abuse. Current federal law only prohibits abusers who are or were at one time married to, live with, have a child with, or are a parent/guardian of the victim. The bills would also prevent individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses from accessing firearms, as opposed to only those convicted of felony stalking offenses.
In 2018 alone, there were 653 gun-related domestic violence fatalities in the United States. Additionally,
- In 2016, one out of every three women murdered were killed by an intimate partner with a gun;
- An average of more than 525 women per year were shot and murdered by an intimate partner between 2006 and 2016;
- 54 percent of mass shootings are related to domestic or family violence;
- Women who were killed by a spouse, intimate partner, or close relative were seven times more likely to have lived in homes with guns; and
- When there is a gun in a home with a history of domestic violence, there is a 500 percent higher chance that a woman will be murdered.
For more background on the tragic intersection between gun violence and domestic violence, please see Brady’s October 2018 report, “Beyond Bullet Wounds: Guns in the Hands of Domestic Abusers”.
The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.
About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced one of the largest national protests of gun violence in U.S. history - The Million Mom March, Mother's Day 2000.