The bill, termed the Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act of 2014, is cosponsored by Sens. Murphy, Schatz, Gillibrand, Kaine, Levin, Durbin, and Warren, all Senate Dems with a long history of supporting pro-gun control measures. The legislation would institute and fund a series of grants, administered by the Director of the Office of Community Policing Services of the Department of Justice. These grants would be distributed to states who have domestic violence gun prohibitions and enforce regulations that include the seizure of firearms in cases of domestic abuse.
The announcement of the legislation comes just a day before a scheduled appearance on Capitol Hill by a group of domestic violence survivors and gun control advocates from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. These speakers will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the subject of closing what they term “loopholes in federal law that allow dangerous abusers and stalkers to buy and keep guns.”
Two of the co-sponsors of the bill unveiled Tuesday, Blumenthal and Durbin, sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Everytown has been vocal in recent months on the subject of gun control and domestic violence. In June, the group released a 36-page study in which they contend that some 41 states do not require domestic abusers to relinquish guns and federal law does not keep guns out of the hands of abusive dating partners or convicted stalkers. The study further states that when a gun is present in a violence situation, it increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent.
This week Everytown launched a series of graphic ads on cable and network stations to air in Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, Arizona and Nevada. In the 30-second spots, a woman is confronted by what is portrayed as an armed, estranged ex who breaks into her home despite calls to 911 for help. These ads, aimed directly at three Republican senators — including one on the Senate Judiciary Committee — publicly challenge the lawmakers to help expand current laws to prohibit gun possession by domestic abusers.