The National Rifle Association is gearing up to prevent Congress from reauthorizing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, The New York Times reported Monday.
The NRA opposes the reauthorization bill, which the House is scheduled to vote on this week, because it includes a new measure that seeks to curb sexual violence by expanding the ability of law enforcement to take away guns from domestic abusers. The proposal does so by closing the "boyfriend loophole" and barring those convicted of abusing, assaulting, or stalking a dating partner or those subject to a court restraining order from purchasing or owning guns.
NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told The New York Times the new provision is "too broad and ripe for abuse," because "the behavior that would qualify as a stalking offense is often not violent or threatening; it involves no personal contact whatsoever."
The NRA also accuses Democrats of "playing politics" with the bill by putting in the "boyfriend" measure as a "poison pill," so they can then say Republicans who vote against it are against protecting woman.
The NRA, however, faces a more challenging situation in Congress than before, as many freshman Democrats were elected on a promise to enact new gun restrictions by proudly campaigning against the association.
The new legislation is to a large extent a reaction to reports from such gun safety groups as Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, for example, that abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if he owns a gun.
Another study, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, shows three-quarters of all intimate partner murder victims were also victims of stalking by their partners.
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