U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said he is co-sponsoring legislation that would protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence.
“Back in 2018, Oregon closed the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ protecting domestic abuse survivors from gun violence at the hands of their abusers. Domestic abuse survivors in every single state deserve the same level of protection as Oregonians,” Wyden said. “Congress must swiftly pass this needed public safety measure to help keep our most vulnerable safe.”
The Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act to close loopholes that let domestic abusers legally obtain weapons is named in memory of Lori Jackson, a Connecticut mother of two who was shot and killed by her estranged husband. He had legally obtained a handgun although he was subject to a temporary restraining order. The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to take up the legislation this week as part of its reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Current federal law protects domestic violence survivors from gun violence by preventing their abusers from buying or possessing a firearm — but only once the court has issued a permanent restraining order. Further, the current definition of “intimate partner” used to prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence from buying or possessing a firearm includes spouses, former spouses, people with a child in common, and cohabitants. However, there are many survivors of dating violence who were never married, do not live with their abuser, and have no children.
This bill would restrict those under temporary restraining order from buying or possessing a firearm, and would extend protections to domestic violence survivors abused by their dates.