In December, Congress failed to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The federal government is currently working to reauthorize an updated version of the law (which helps protect women from domestic violence), but there have been many road blocks. And now, the NRA is taking a stand against the bill, which could keep it from passing.
National Journal reports that, at the request of House Republicans, the NRA is planning to issue a key-vote alert opposing the act. This means that if legislators support the bill, their NRA rating could suffer (and many pro-gun voters base their decision to vote for a specific candidate off this rating)—and this could be enough to convince many Republicans to vote against reauthorization. However, the most frustrating part of this is the reason the NRA objects to reauthorizing the law: The latest version includes provisions designed to prevent domestic abusers from getting guns, and the association is vehemently against these “red-flag provisions.”
ABC News notes that out of 20 mass shootings in 2018, ten of those involved intimate partner or family violence. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, women are five times more likely to die if their abusers have access to guns. Basically, the NRA is completely ignoring the real issue.
And although domestic abusers are prohibited from owning guns, loopholes in federal laws mean that they often slip through the cracks. The Giffords Law Center points out that convicted abusers often don’t have to give up their firearms, convicted stalkers aren’t banned from owning guns, and federal laws don’t apply to unmarried partners. Per The New York Times, the latest iteration of the Violence Against Women Act would address some of these loopholes by protecting victims of stalking and preventing people convicted of violent misdemeanors from owning guns.
It’s downright appalling that the NRA would oppose legislation that aims to protect potential victims of domestic violence. We need the Violence Against Women Act, and we need to close these loopholes in federal laws.