Jul 30 2014
Clark Urges Gun Safety Laws in Light of Congressional Hearing on Guns and Domestic Violence
Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Katherine Clark is pushing for the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead in taking up urgently needed gun violence legislation to protect women from abusers and stalkers who exploit loopholes in current law.
In a first-ever Senate hearing to address the strong connection between gun violence and domestic abuse, participants highlighted the disturbing statistic that American women comprise 84% of all female firearm victims in the developed world. Further, in domestic abuse situations, if the abuser has access to a gun, it increases the chance that a woman will die by 500%.
“It’s unacceptable for House Republicans to continue to block common sense solutions to help save the lives of innocent victims,” said Clark. “The American people need to know where Congress stands. Are we with the gun lobby or are we with the majority of Americans who want us to take action? Every day that Congress stays silent is costing lives. We need to act now.”
Clark is demanding votes on legislation she co-sponsored to help close loopholes in current law. Clark co-sponsored Preventing Victims of Stalking Act, the Domestic Violent Criminal Disarmament Act and the Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Protection Act.
Current federal law prohibits domestic abusers from possessing guns only if they are or were married, live with a partner, or have children with a partner. Dating partners and stalkers who have been convicted of domestic abuse crimes are not prohibited from buying or possessing firearms. This, despite the fact that more crimes occur in the hands of dating partners than married or cohabiting partners. The legislation Clark is pushing will help close these loopholes.
Clark has been ardent advocate of gun safety legislation and a vocal critic of the NRA’s spending influence in Washington. Her monthly policy panel which invites residents of her district to participate will focus on a renewed push for gun safety legislation in September.