Democrats want to expand Violence Against Women Act


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Statistics from the Department of Justice show that about half of the women killed in homicides are killed by their romantic partners.

That is why Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act – to take firearms away from abusive husbands. Lawmakers now want to expand the law to include abusive boyfriends, but the National Rifle Association is fighting the move.

For Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, reauthorizing and expanding the Violence Against Women Act is personal. 

“I know what it’s like to live in a household with someone that has issues, that can snap at minutes notice and suddenly the gun is pointed at your mother or pointed at you,” Dingell said.

The law was originally passed in 1994 to provide support and protection for victims of domestic abuse. It also allows law enforcement to confiscate guns from men who abuse their wives or domestic partners.

Senator Amy Klobuchar says the law needs to be expanded to include abusive boyfriends.

“Dangerous boyfriends can be just as dangerous as dangerous husbands. They hit just as hard and they fire their guns with the same deadly force,” Klobuchar said.

The bill will likely pass in the Democratic controlled House of Representatives. But the NRA, which strongly opposes the changes, is focusing their efforts on getting Senate Republicans to kill the new provisions.

Amy Hunter, a spokesperson with the NRA, says the proposal is a thinly veiled gun control measure.

“This was added by anti-gun politicians to play politics,” Hunter said.

Democrats like Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford says the NRA is ignoring the victims.

“They’re more interested with protecting the profits of gun manufacturers than they are with protecting the safety of women,” Horsford says.

The NRA says it supports the Violence Against Women Act without the proposed changes.

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