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New law aimed at curbing gun rights for abusive partners

According to reports, Nevada had the highest level of domestic homicide in the country five different years between 2005 and 2011. In 2010, there were 35 instances of women being shot by men, and most of those deaths occurred with a handgun. However, the state fell to number 16 in the nation in 2011, and the director of the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence says that attitudes are changing about domestic violence against men, women and children.

A piece of legislation proposed in the United States Senate called the Protecting Domestic and Stalking Victims Act would bar stalkers and abusive partners from owning guns. Currently, only abusive spouses are barred from buying handguns. The broader purpose of the law, according to the NNAD, is to ensure that the law keeps up with the different types of relationships that people engage in. These days, it is more common for people to eschew traditional marriage, which means that the law has to expand past just abusive partners.

In Nevada, it is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony or who is mentally ill to buy a gun. However, unlicensed dealers don’t need to do background checks on buyers at gun shows or when making a sale online. At the state level, there is a proposed bill that could close the loophole for private dealers.

Those who subject spouses, partners or children to domestic violence may have their rights to being around a spouse or children limited or terminated completely. In the case of a parent being abused who has a child or a child who is being abused, it may be possible for a family law attorney to assist in getting a court order barring that person from having contact with the child or the parent while divorce proceedings go forward.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “Advocate: It’s time to expand gun restrictions in domestic violence cases“, Tovin Lapan, July 30, 2014

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