The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), a project of The Hotline, applaud Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI-6), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) for introducing the bipartisan Strengthening Protections for Domestic Violenc e and Stalking Survivors Act of 2023. This critical bill fully closes the “dating loophole” in federal firearms law, which allows dating partners subject to final protective orders to legally possess firearms, and the stalking loophole, which allows people convicted of misdemeanor stalking to legally possess firearms.
“Every day, survivors call The Hotline and share ways that firearms are used by abusive partners to threaten, coerce, and control, not to mention the thousands of survivors that have lost their lives because of firearms,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of The Hotline. “We applaud the incredible dedication of these Congressional Members to close this loophole and keep all survivors safe from gun violence and urge Congress to act.”
“At a time when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seems intent on removing life-saving protections for victims and survivors of domestic violence, we are grateful to see Members of Congress taking bipartisan action to protect survivors from the lethal threat of firearms,” says Ruth M. Glenn, President of Public Affairs for NCADV. “Thank you to Representatives Dingell, Jackson Lee, and Fitzpatrick, and to Senator Klobuchar for being constant champions for victims, survivors, and the advocates and programs who support them!”
In 2022, 21,225 people who reached out to The Hotline shared that firearms were a part of their abuse experience - a 22.2% increase compared to 2021. Most intimate partner homicides are of dating partners rather than spouses, and most intimate partner homicides are committed using firearms. Both in the context of intimate partner violence and outside an intimate relationship, stalking is a key indicator of future lethality.
The Hotline and NCADV call on Congress to swiftly pass the Strengthening Protections for Domestic Violence and Stalking Survivors Act of 2023.
For resources about safety planning around firearms, go to https://www.thehotline.org/resources/safety-planning-around-guns-and-firearms/.
For more information, please contact Rachel Graber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2021). Expanded homicide data. Crime Data Explorer. https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr
 Violence Policy Center. (2021). When men murder women: An analysis of 2019 homicide data. http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2021.pdf
 McFarlane, J. M., Campbell, J. C., Wilt, S., Sachs, C. J., Ulrich, Y. & Xu, X. (1999). Stalking and intimate partner femicide. Homicide Studies, 3(4), 300-316.; Meloy, J. R. (1999). Stalking: An old behavior, a new crime. Forensic Psychiatry, 22(1), 85-99.