A bill to prohibit people convicted of misdeameanor stalking or sexual assault from possessing firearms and ammunition was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on a 12-1 vote Thursday.
Eleven states already have such a law. House Bill 625 cites a 1999 study of women in 10 cities that found 76 percent of murder victims and 85 percent of murder attempt survivors were stalked over the past year.
Other statistics referenced in the bill show that having a gun in the home increase the chances of an intimate partner being murdered eightfold. This risk was multiplied by 20 if there was a history of violence in the family.
Convicted felons already are prohibited from possessing firearms, but HB 625 would broaden the prohibition.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
“Data indicates that people who stalk often end up resorting to violence,” said Karl Rhoads, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “We don’t want to make it easy for (stalkers) to do anything extreme.”
The National Rifle Association opposed a similar bill in the U.S. Senate and argued that the definition of domestic violence was too broad and stalking didn’t necessarily mean someone would commit an act of violence, according to a letter obtained by the Huffington Post in 2014.
Next up, the bill faces a floor vote in the House. If it’s passed there, HB 625 will move onto the Senate.
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