Gun Control Advocates Focusing on Domestic Violence Issue

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Gun control advocates are testing a new approach: adding gun curbs for people linked to domestic violence, the Wall Street Journal reports. Legislators in at least 12 states have proposed legislation that would make it harder for people accused or convicted of domestic-violence charges to get or keep a firearm, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks state gun bills. The push comes after six states passed new gun laws in 2014 related to domestic violence. A pending South Carolina bill would require someone convicted of a domestic-violence charge to turn in his or her firearms to the county sheriff. Legislation proposed in Arizona would prohibit someone charged with domestic violence from possessing a gun while out on bail. A measure in Missouri would add “dating partners” to those covered by domestic-violence laws and the gun bans that attach to them.

The bills are part of a move by groups including Everytown for Gun Safety, backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group formed by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head near Tucson four years ago, and her husband. Gun-control backers have largely focused on statehouses after failing to win new federal legislation after the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Ct. So far, they have had mixed success. The domestic-violence gun bills have been pushed often over the objection of gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association who say they are unnecessary and, in some instances, violate gun-owners' rights. The focus on domestic violence, an issue that reaches voters who might not otherwise engage in the battle over guns, “shows a strategic sophistication on the part of the gun-control folks,” said University of California Los Angeles law Prof. Adam Winkler.

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