Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) Margie Moore, Assistant Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women & Policing as well as women’s and student advocacy groups met yesterday with Vice President Al Gore and Congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill on the issue of gun control. The National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Training Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Safe Students were among the advocacy groups calling for a closure of the legal loopholes that exist in background checks for guns.
Under the Domestic Violence Gun Ban law passed in 1996, individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor are prohibited from purchasing guns. The ban does not exempt police officers or members of the military. Studies show that weapons are used in thirty percent of domestic violence incidents, and that police families have a higher rate of domestic violence than the general public. Domestic Violence offenders and other criminals, however, are able to purchase guns at gun shows and flea markets through loopholes in current gun control legislation. The proposed legislation would require criminal background checks on individuals attempting to purchase weapons at gun shows and flea markets.
The National Center for Women & Policing educates domestic violence advocacy groups as well as law enforcement in an effort to improve law enforcement response to domestic violence. Moore reports “that domestic violence is the single major cause of injury to women and account for as much as 50% of 911 calls to police.”