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Rep. Brown Provisions, Amendment Pass In Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Of 2019

Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) released the following statement after passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) released the following statement after passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.

“Domestic abusers and stalkers should not own or buy firearms, period,” said Congressman Brown. “My cousin Cathy was a teacher who loved her work and her students, who was ripped away from her family, her friends, and her students by an estranged boyfriend. In 2008 she was stalked, ambushed, and murdered in front of two police officers. While there is nothing that will bring Cathy back, our VAWA reauthorization closes the dating partner loophole, stalking loophole, and temporary restraining order loophole that expose thousands of families to the horror my own experienced by letting abusers buy and keep their guns.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate. When gaps exist in our legal system, and abusers are still able to possess firearms, Congress has an obligation to act. We must also empower law enforcement and allies with tools like the lethality assessment program in order to prevent victims of domestic violence from becoming victims of intimate partner homicide. I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and our vote today to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act with these increased protections. It will save lives.”

Included within the House of Representatives’ reauthorization of VAWA are provisions laid out in H.R.511, introduced by Congressman Brown in May 2017 and reintroduced at the beginning of the 116th Congress. These provisions are intended to help prevent “intimate partner homicides” by expanding firearms laws to prohibit persons convicted of dating violence from possessing firearms. The provisions also prohibit persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking and individuals subject to ex parte protective orders from possessing firearms.

Congressman Brown also introduced an amendment to the reauthorization that establishes a grant program for States, localities and nonprofits to establish and operate a lethality assessment program. Lethality assessment programs reduce the number of missed opportunities to identify victims of domestic violence who are at risk of being killed, and enables them to take steps that might save their lives. It is an evidence-based homicide prevention tool that is currently used in 37 states, and is one of only two models of evidence-based intimate partner homicide prevention to be recognized and honored as a “promising practice” by the Department of Justice.

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