Justice

NRA Opposes Renewal of Violence Against Women Act

The NRA is opposing the Violence Against Women Act, which aims to tighten gun laws for domestic abusers.

The NRA says it will issue a “key vote alert” against a reauthorization bill that aims to renew and expand VAWA, a landmark domestic violence law. VAWA expired in December 2018 during the partial government shutdown but was extended for a few extra weeks while the government was reopened.

The NRA’s key vote alert warns members of Congress that their vote on the bill will be scored and included in their NRA rating. The bipartisan bill provides funding to programs against domestic violence.

Under federal law, people convicted of domestic violence against spouses and family members are banned from owning firearms. But the law doesn’t apply to people who abuse their dating partners thus creating the “boyfriend loophole.” The reauthorization bill would expand the law to apply to dating partners. It would also prohibit the purchase of firearms by those convicted of stalking and for those subject to a temporary protective order.

According to NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen, the NRA hasn’t taken sides on the issue in the past. But since the new bill would expand the list of misdemeanor convictions, resulting in the permanent ban of firearms for individuals, the organization is coming out against it.