by Louise Hublitz
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expired in December. and still has not been renewed. Originally, passed into law in 1994 the VAWA recognized the severity of the crimes associated with domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, and that individual states were not doing enough to protect women by creating comprehensive laws to protect them. Since 1994 the law has been reauthorized several times with additions to expand and improve its protections. It required every state to honor orders of protection issued anywhere in the United States across state lines. States are banned from charging rape victims for forensic sexual assault examinations. Stalking by electronic surveillance is outlawed.
The NRA has the reauthorization bill in their crosshairs because of an addition to the old law aimed at curbing sexual violence by expanding law enforcement’s ability to strip domestic abusers of their guns. It closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by barring those convicted of abusing, assaulting, or stalking a dating partner or those subject to a court restraining order from buying or owning firearms. As could be expected, the NRA gets crazed at the mention of restrictions on buying guns.
Congressman O’Halleran representing our CD-1 introduced a bill reauthorizing this most important protection. It passed the House and moved to the Senate this past Monday. It’s up to the Senate to now go through their committee process and bring this bill forward for a full Senate vote.
It is therefore for us to let Senators McSally and Sinema know we are watching and we expect their support for the reauthorization of this important legislation. We must keep the pressure on both Senators until the bill becomes law.
Call Senator Sinema at 202-224-2235 or 602-598-7327 and Senator McSally at 202-224-2235-or 602-952-2410.