Policy Alert: Reauthorization of VAWA

The House passed legislation on Thursday reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) over objections from the National Rifle Association and Republicans who say it will restrict gun rights by preventing people convicted of stalking or abusing dating partners from buying a gun.

Thirty-three Republicans opted to break party lines and vote for the bill backed by Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), the only GOP lawmaker to co-sponsor it.
— Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will restrict anyone convicted of domestic violence or misdemeanor crime of stalking from buying a gun! Only one Democrat voted against the measure, which passed 263-158. VAWA has historically been a bipartisan issue, yet this year, 158 representatives opposed the reauthorization, prioritizing gun rights over human rights and violence against women - another attempt to threaten what progress has been made.

Next, VAWA is scheduled to be at the Senate floor and might face higher chances of opposition. Let’s continue to be vocal and call our representatives, beyond our local officials. It’s time for leadership to recognize that prioritizing gun rights over human rights puts victims/survivors in danger, as well as the rest of the country where we continue to see an increase in violence against women and mass shootings.

As we gear up for Denim Day, we continue to support VAWA and survivors, and those whose lives have been taken at the hands of gun violence.

—Melodie Kruspodin
Prevention & Policy Director