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Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Need Better Protection from Guns

May 10, 2013
Contact: Kath Cummins, 202.590.0837, kcummins@ncvc.org

Domestic violence and stalking victims are at high risk of injury or death from firearms because of weaknesses in federal law and enforcement that result in abusers keeping their guns.  Only by addressing these challenges—concludes a report issued by the Center for American Progress yesterday—can our nation give these victims the protections they need. 

Offenders have many ways—both legal and illegal—to evade federal law that prohibits them from possessing guns.  Convicted abusers can purchase guns at sales that do not require background checks. And laws that actually do prevent gun possession by abusers are often not adequately enforced.  Additionally, dating violence and stalking victims are not afforded the same protections as domestic violence victims.

“We need to close these loopholes and step up enforcement to prevent offenders from evading the law,” said National Center for Victims of Crime Executive Director Mai Fernandez. “Only by denying guns to abusers and stalkers can we have any hope of keeping victims safe.”

The National Center for Victims of Crime endorses the report’s proposals to  require background checks for all gun sales, include dating relationships in the ban on gun ownership, prohibit misdemeanant (as well as felon) stalkers from gun ownership; and enforce current laws by disarming prohibited domestic abusers.

For more information on the report, Preventing Domestic Abusers and Stalkers from Possessing Gun, click here.

The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.