Violence Against Women

Oregon Legislature Passes Strict Gun Law

Just one week after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Oregon lawmakers passed a new gun control bill that bans domestic abusers from purchasing or owning firearms.

Formerly, Oregon’s gun control laws only prohibited convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying and owning guns if they lived with, were married to, or had children with their victim. The wording of the existing law created a loophole that allowed abusers who had been convicted of domestic violence, but did not fall into any of those categories, to purchase and own weapons.

The new law closes what has been referred to as the “boyfriend loophole” since it includes abusers who may not live with their victims or share children with them, and includes the more general term “intimate partner.” The bill will also include those convicted of stalking or people under restraining orders in the list of people banned from owning or obtaining guns.

The bill passed the Oregon House of Representatives 37-23 and the state Senate 16-13  and has been sent to Governor Kate Brown who is expected to sign the bill. Women’s rights advocates claim the bill as a victory, since more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victim of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. The chance of a woman in an abusive household being killed by her partner quintuples when a gun is in the home.

Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 10/6/2016; USA Today 2/23/2018; Newsweek 2/23/2018; The Hill 2/22/2018; Oregon Live 2/22/2018

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