NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Domestic violence prevention advocates are applauding a landmark gun reform law that prevents partners convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act represents the first gun reform legislation to make its way through Congress in almost three decades.
The new law shrinks the federal partner loophole, incentivizes states to pass “red flag” laws and funds more school security and mental health services.
Survivors of domestic violence are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm.
Over the past six years, calls to domestic violence hotlines have gone up each year from 30,128 in 2016 to 41,654 in 2021.
“Red flag” laws enable court orders to separate people from guns when they imminently threaten themselves or others.
“We’ve had red flag laws in place for about a year here in Connecticut and we’ve seen that it saves lives. The bigger piece is one in four women will be impacted by this,” said Meghan Scanlon, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“I think that when there’s provisions in place for gun safety and accountability when someone has committed a violent crime like this, their access to those weapons doesn’t exist anymore. Unfortunately, there may be another victim in their path and so if that provision is put into place, it equals increased safety,” said Alisha Donovan, Susan B. Anthony Project program director.
The Susan B. Anthony Project offers a 24-hour crisis line and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. You can call the crisis line at (860) 482-7133.
You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-7233.