NOW-NY demands Republicans reject NRA's call to let abusers keep their guns

Press Releases / April 2, 2019

National Rifle Association Actively Opposes Violence Against Women Act

April 2, 2019 – New York, NY – Less than one week out from a planned vote to reauthorize the lapsed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the NRA has come out in opposition to the proposed bill H.R. 1585, citing provisions strengthening laws preventing domestic violence abusers from possessing firearms. Specifically, the proposed VAWA legislation would ensure that convicted abusive dating partners, stalkers or those who face a restraining order be denied access to a firearm.

“The NRA is fighting tooth and nail to make sure that convicted abusers and stalkers keep their guns,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NY. “That’s how far the NRA has sunk. They don’t care how many lives are lost. The organization has turned into a national disgrace.”

This is despite the facts that an average of 50 women are shot to death by an intimate partner every single month and that there are well documented links between acts of domestic violence and mass shootings in this country.

“The NRA is now saying to lawmakers that your 100% NRA approval rating is at stake if you stand up for the more than one million women alive today who have been shot at by an intimate partner. That’s despicable and lawmakers should unite against this bully,” Ossorio said.

The NRA wants to take down the monumental Violence Against Women Act in the process, which provides the funding to train law enforcement, provide services and change the culture to reduce violence against women. Indeed, since the law was enacted, the number of female homicide victims killed by intimate partners has fallen by 26% and rates of intimate partner violence have dropped.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that half of the women murdered in this country are killed by an intimate partner, and additional studies show that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk that the woman will be killed five times. These were some of the statistics cited by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in last year’s passage of legislation that closed loopholes in New York that previously allowed batterers with felony convictions and orders of protections against them to still own some types of firearms, such as, long guns, rifles and shotguns.

Sonia Ossorio said, “By opposing VAWA, the NRA has made it clear they are willing to see millions of dollars in funding for violence prevention, domestic violence shelters, and critical services for sexual assault just disappear – all so that gun sales stay strong and individuals with records of abuse and violence can be gun owners.”

Research has clearly shown that female intimate partner homicide rates have actually decreased in states with laws that restrict access to firearms by individuals with a restraining order against them, and that there are clear links between acts of domestic violence and mass shootings. An Everytown for Gun Safety analysis of every identifiable mass shooting between 2009 and 2016 — which are defined as incidents in which four or more people are killed by guns — found that in 85 of those 156 incidents the shooter killed a current or former intimate partner or other family member as part of or before going on a killing spree.

“The NRA wants owning a gun to be a right without any responsibilities – and this doesn’t make sense. We require training and testing to drive a car, but the NRA would rather continue to allow school children, domestic violence victims, and the public to be killed by guns than put reasonable and proven policies in place to protect public safety and reduce violence. This is an unconscionable position that even the NRA’s own members should be able to reject,” said Ossorio.

A vote on H.R. 1585 is expected to be held in the House of Representatives this Thursday, April 4th.

For press inquiries call 212.627.9895 | jean@nownyc.org