A Call for Action to Reduce Gun Deaths Among Victims of Domestic Violence
Over 250 people gathered inside the Dirksen Senate building on Wednesday to support legislation aimed at decreasing intimate partner homicide through gun violence.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired the standing-room only Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - which required an overflow room – and was joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
"As a former prosecutor, I have seen firsthand how domestic violence and stalking can destroy lives and tear apart families," Klobuchar said. "My legislation would help protect victims and keep our families safe, and I will continue to work to pass this commonsense bill."
Senator Blumental, along with Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) has also introduced legislation to strengthen the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, which prevents abusers convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence assault from owning a firearm. Legislation has also been introduced by Senator Klobuchar that would provide victims of dating violence and stalking with the same legal protections as victims of domestic violence. Senator Blumenthal commented at the hearing that "federal law is a shadow of what it should be," and called on Congress not only to set the standard but to give incentives and punishments to states to ensure that federal legislation aimed at preventing domestic violence homicide, is enforced.