Don’t Give Abusers Legal Access to Firearms

Target: Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the United States Senate

Goal: Permanently deny convicted abusers and stalkers access to firearm weapons.

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 was a landmark piece of legislation that sought to expand resources towards the prevention of violence towards women and the protection of women who had suffered from abuse. This act was one of the first to recognize the severity of crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking at the federal level, and helped to improve criminal justice responses towards these offenses. However, a dangerous gap in legislation has continued to allow perpetrators of abuse–including physically abusive ex-boyfriends and stalkers with previously filed restraining orders–to own a firearm.

This loophole, known as the Boyfriend loophole, was recently partially amended. According to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, individuals who were convicted of abuse towards women–excluding stalkers with restraining orders filed against them–are denied access to firearms for 5 years, but not permanently.

Sign this petition to demand that Congress further protect women by permanently denying abusers and stalkers access to firearm weapons.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Schumer,

For decades, the Violence Against Women Act has sought to improve criminal justice responses towards perpetrators of violence towards women and to increase protections for American women. However, since this act was introduced in 1994, a particular loophole–commonly referred to as the Boyfriend loophole–has permitted the ownership and use of firearms by ex-boyfriends convicted of sexual assault and violence, as well as by stalkers with previously filed restraining orders.

Recent amendments by way of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act have significantly closed this loophole by denying people with convicted violence in dating relationships access to firearms for 5 years. However, in excluding people with restraining orders filed against them, these amendments fail to protect all female victims of physical and psychological abuse. If someone is capable of committing violence towards another human–especially one they love–they are more than capable of committing violence again.

We are asking you, Mr. Schumer, to please make further amendments to deny all abusers and stalkers access to firearms, permanently. Women deserve long term protection.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hibr


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902 Signatures

  • Cecilia Rolfo
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