Take guns away from domestic abusers
by U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Every 12 seconds, a woman in this country is battered. And each year, 2,000 children die from abuse inflicted by a parent. Domestic violence is a terrible and vicious crime.
What can we do to help protect these innocent victims?
I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of a bill recently signed into law that would prohibit persons convicted of a crime involving domestic violence from owning or possessing firearms. The Senate sent a clear signal to would-be abusers, by a vote of 97-2, that if you commit an act of domestic violence, you can't own a gun. It's very clear, and very simple.
Federal law already prohibits convicted felons from possessing guns. However, many people who commit serious spousal or child abuse ultimately are not convicted of felonies, and could continue to own a gun. This law looks out for the victims of abuse and ensures that convicted offenders won't be able to have firearms in the future.
Research has shown that in households with a history of abuse, women are three times as likely to be killed if a gun is in the house. In fact, more than 1,500 women are killed each year through acts of domestic violence. It makes sense to me to take the guns out of the hands of the abusers.
October is National Domestic Violence Month. It is an opportunity for all of us to think about the victims of these terrible crimes, and work to help prevent this abuse.
Our homes should be places that are safe and secure. For many women and children, though, home can be a dangerous place. We must take steps to ensure their safety and protection. Taking guns away from domestic abusers is a good start.