Legislation Would Close ‘Boyfriend Loophole,’ Which Lets Convicted Abusers and Abusers Under Active Restraining Orders Buy and Keep Guns – Simply Because They Have Not Married, Had a Child With, Or Lived With, the Victim
Read Everytown Fact Sheet about Gun Violence Against Women HERE
WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement on the introduction of legislation that would close a dangerous loophole known as the “Boyfriend Loophole” through which certain domestic abusers can obtain and keep guns.
The “Boyfriend Loophole” allows dangerous domestic abusers to legally purchase firearms in the majority of states. While federal law prevents people who have been convicted of domestic abuse from buying a gun if they’ve been married to, lived with or had children with their victim, there’s nothing to stop an abusive boyfriend or stalker from purchasing a firearm unless a state’s law fills the gap that current federal law leaves open. Congresswoman Dingell and Senator Klobuchar’s bill would close that deadly loophole.
STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Gun violence and violence against women are fatally intertwined. This bill gives every member of Congress an opportunity to take meaningful action to protect American women and families from dangerous abusers. We applaud Congresswoman Dingell, Senator Klobuchar and their Congressional colleagues who introduced this bill to bring our domestic violence and guns laws into the 21st century and better protect single women. As a mother of daughters, I am hopeful our mostly male Congress will work across the aisle to protect women from domestic gun violence.”
STATEMENT FROM JENNIFER GOLD, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE BEST FRIENDS, CAROL KESTENBAUM AND NICOLE SCHIFFMAN, WERE KILLED BY THE EX-BOYFRIEND OF CAROL’S ROOMMATE:
“This is an example of how our laws haven’t caught up with the times when it comes to protecting victims of domestic violence, and it’s time for that to change. Women are delaying marriage longer than ever before – and yet the law still prioritizes the safety of married women over those of us who are single. Closing the Boyfriend Loophole won’t end domestic violence, but it will make it more difficult for dangerous abusers to get guns, and families across the country will be safer because of it. It’s long past time Congress took this common-sense step.”
In February, Everytown for Gun Safety teamed up with issue-driven media company ATTN: and Pretty Little Liars star and Everytown Creative Council member, Troian Bellisario, to launch ‘The Loophole that is Killing Women,’ a video narrated by Bellisario. In the ATTN: animated video, Bellisario narrates as graphics demonstrate why current gun laws put women – particularly single women – at risk. The video is available here. Everytown had previously partnered with Cosmopolitan on a campaign called SingledOut to highlight the dangers of the boyfriend loophole.
For more information on the boyfriend loophole and gun violence against women, view a fact sheet linked here.