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New bill proposes to protect domestic abuse victims from guns

Domestic violence victims in Illinois often do not feel safe in their own homes. State authorities have initiated various campaigns and programs that can help victims to understand the various legal options available to them. In some cases, the victims of domestic violence also contact the nearest non-profit organizations or even social workers for help in getting out of a violent home and away from the abuser. Victims of domestic abuse may also be able to obtain a protective order against the abuser.

Many legal experts say that domestic abusers who have already shown signs of violent behavior can be very dangerous to their victims, even after the victim somehow manages to get out of the home that they shared. House Resolution 3130 has been proposed to help domestic abuse victims.

Under the proposed act, named the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abuse Act, any Illinois resident who has been convicted of domestic abuse will no longer be able to legally obtain guns. While the current law does recognize the restrictions of guns for abusive spouses or intimate partners who have been in a live-in relationship, especially a relationship in which minor children are involved, the new act is more holistic and includes restrictions on guns for dating couples.

Lawmakers want the act to become a federal law so that no one in the United States, man, woman or child, who has been abused in their own home ever feels unsafe again, even after coming out of a bad situation. However, there are quite a few loopholes in the current law, which will be resolved under the new law. Since new studies have revealed that over 76 percent of women who were murdered by people with whom they had been in a relationship complained about being stalked, the new act also proposes that the gun restriction laws be extended to convicted stalkers as well.

Source: The News Herald, "Dingell introduces bill to protect domestic abuse, stalking victims from gun violence," Dave Herndon, July 28, 2015

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