The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) commends the bipartisan Senate negotiators for including a provision to partially close the dating loophole in the just-released legislative package to address gun violence in the United States. Most women murdered annually in the U.S. are killed by domestic abusers, most of these are killed using firearms, and most are murdered by dating partners rather than spouses.
“The provisions pertaining to dating partners in this bill are a critical first step to protecting survivors of dating violence from armed abusers,” says NCADV’s President/CEO, Ruth M. Glenn. “We recognize the extreme pressure the negotiators were under in developing this bill, and we very much appreciate their insistence that the final package addresses firearm possession by dating abusers. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to fully close this deadly loophole.”
Current federal law restricts respondents to final domestic violence protective orders and people convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing or receiving firearms or ammunition, but this restriction applies only to current/former spouses, current/former cohabitants, or people who share a child in common; it thereby excludes dating partners. The gun violence prevention package extends existing federal law to cover many dating abusers who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, but it does not extend them to cover dating abusers subject to final domestic violence protective orders. NCADV will continue to advocate to fully close the dating loophole by restricting dating partners subject to final protective orders from possessing or receiving firearms or ammunition.
NCADV is currently assessing the remainder of the bill.