‘Gives survivors a little bit more protection’ - ‘Boyfriend loophole’ closed with new gun safety law

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday, President Biden signed into law the first major gun safety legislation in decades. The bill includes millions of dollars for school safety, and mental health and crisis intervention programs. There are also changes to the process to buy a firearm for people ages 18 to 21.

It also closes what’s know as the boyfriend loophole which stops domestic abusers from buying guns.

Domestic Violence advocates say closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole” will keep guns out of the hands of violent people.

Previous laws only prevented people from purchasing a firearm if they were convicted of domestic violence while living with, married to or having a child with their partner.

”It finally closes what’s know as the boyfriend loophole. So, if you assault your boyfriend or girlfriend you can’t buy a gun or own a gun,” said President Biden.

Alta Medea, Community Engagement Director for Domestic Violence Intervention Program said the law is a step in the right direction.

”Preventing individuals that are in dating relationships from obtaining weapons... we know that they are just as lethal and just as violent as if someone was married or had a child or lived with them. So, closing that loophole gives survivors a little bit more protection, though we know it’s not obviously 100%,” said Medea. “There still are many other loopholes that need to be addressed, we know that it can help curb that and move us closer to making a space that’s safe for everyone,” she said.

DVIP serves eight counties throughout Eastern Iowa. Medea said within the area they serve, around 32 percent of victims reported that weapons were used in their abuse.

”Of that, 34% of the individuals we serve, the abuser threatened to kill the victim and we know that many times that is done with a gun,” said Medea.

Medea added their main goal is for people to be safe and have the resources they need.

”According to the FBI, every month an average of 53 are shot and killed by an intimate partner. And over 4.5 million women within our nation have reported being threatened in their lifetime with a gun,” she said. “That is a shocking number. The more loopholes we can get close, the more sensible gun legislation we can have in place, the safer all of us are,” said Medea.

If you need help, Medea said you can call the 24 hour hotline, that’s 1-800-373-1043.

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