The Democratic additions to the Violence Against Women Act exposed fault lines within the GOP as it wrestles with how to regain support among women.
PHOTO CREDIT: J. Scott Applewhite/AP via NPR
Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved legislation to renew the Violence Against Women Act, originally passed in 1994 but had just expired this past February. The Democrats in the House updated the act to add new provisions that would restrict gun ownership and expand transgender rights.
"Sometimes things are as simple as this: If we are doing a Violence Against Women Act and we are trying to save lives, why would you not close a simple loophole that says if someone has been convicted — convicted, not accused — convicted of domestic violence, that they not have access to a gun." ~ Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan via NPR
The updated act closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” that restricts gun access to people with a history of stalking or domestic abuse in response to the fact that one in four women will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
In addition, the updated act adds protections for transgender people, giving transgender women access to shelters. It also makes it so that transgender people are able to be in the prisons that align with their gender identities. This updated act would be a victory for the LGBTQ community and help protect more women against violence, however, it still needs to pass the Senate, which is uncertain due to the NRA’s strong influence and their strong support of gun rights.