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Everytown Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Close Dating Partner Loophole

February 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding the introduction of bipartisan legislation by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to close the dating partner loophole for domestic abusers subject to final restraining orders.

When abusers are subject to final restraining orders, they should be blocked from purchasing or possessing guns and required to turn in those they already own. While the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act took a meaningful step forward by disarming those who are convicted of abusing their current or recent dating partners, this legislation would ensure that anyone who is subject to a restraining order for abusing a dating partner or convicted of misdemeanor stalking is unable to access firearms. 

“Women in America are just as likely to be murdered by a dating partner as a spouse, so closing the deadly loophole that lets abusive dating partners under restraining orders keep their guns is the very definition of common sense,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Representative Dingell for introducing this lifesaving bill, and urge her colleagues to do their part to disarm abusers.”

“Domestic violence and access to guns is a deadly combination for women and families,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “While the Fifth Circuit is eroding protections for those with domestic violence restraining orders, we must redouble our efforts to save lives from senseless and preventable violence. We’re proud to stand in strong support of Representative Dingell’s efforts and are grateful for her unwavering commitment to this issue.”

The introduction of this legislation comes days after a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a critical, long-standing gun safety law that protects domestic violence victims and keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. A panel of extremist judges dangerously ruled that the federal law that prohibits people who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders (DVROs) from possessing guns is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. More information about that case and what comes next is available here

Intimate partner violence and gun violence in the U.S. are inextricably linked, impacting millions of women, families, and communities across the country –– which is why closing the dating partner loophole would be a landmark step towards saving women’s lives in America. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed, and women are just as likely to be killed by dating partners as by spouses. More information on the link between guns and domestic violence is available here and resources for survivors of domestic abuse can be found here.   

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