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”.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.