The National Rifle Association is opposing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act over provisions designed to keep domestic abusers from having access to firearms, reports the Huffington Post.
The pro-gun group told HuffPost it will issue a a “key vote” alert against VAWA, which warns members of Congress that their vote on the legislation will be scored and included in their NRA rating.
According to a report by the National Journal, some Republicans reportedly wanted the NRA to take a stand so they could have political cover to vote against it.
On March 7, a bill to reauthorize and expand VAWA, a landmark domestic violence law, was introduced in the House. The law expired in late December during the partial government shutdown, but was extended just a few more weeks after a short-term spending deal reopened the government.
On top of making improvements in services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, the reauthorization bill aims to tighten gun laws for domestic abusers.
Under federal law, individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses against their spouses or family members are already barred from owning firearms. But the law does not apply to individuals who abuse their dating partners. The VAWA reauthorization bill would fix that, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”It would also prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses ― which experts believe can be a predictor of future violence ― from owning or purchasing firearms.
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