Deadly loopholes in our federal gun laws allow stalkers and domestic abusers to have guns simply because they are not married to their victims, even though women are just as likely to be killed by a dating partner as by a spouse. Ask your MoC to sign on as co-sponsors to legislation that will close “The Boyfriend Loophole” (S.1539 in the Senate and H.R. 3207 in the House).
American women are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed with a gun than women in other high income countries. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be shot and killed. While federal law generally prohibits gun possession by domestic abusers, it often does not apply when the victim is a dating partner as opposed to a spouse, an oversight referred to as “The Boyfriend Loophole.” Maine has one of the highest rates of domestic violence-related homicide, accounting for nearly half of all homicides in the state. Two new bills aimed at closing The Boyfriend Loophole have been introduced in congress, S.1539: Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims and the bipartisan H.R. 3207: Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act. The bills would update federal gun law to encompass abusive dating partners and prohibit convicted stalkers from buying or possessing guns. So far, none of Maine’s congressional delegation have signed on as co-sponsors. While Maine law already offers some protection against stalkers and abusive dating partners, it is often at a judge’s discretion. These bills would mandate and expand the protection.
- Contact all of your reps and ask them to close the deadly Boyfriend Loophole. Ask Senators Collins and King to sign on as co-sponsors of S. 1539 Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims, and ask Pingree and Poliquin to sign on as co-sponsors of H.R. 3207: Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act. If you have a personal story to tell of domestic abuse and gun violence, please share your story with them by email for greatest impact.
- Send a postcard to Susan Collins from your phone or computer through Everytown For Gun Safety’s campaign to close the Boyfriend Loophole.