UPDATE: On April 4, 2019, the House of Representatives voted 263-158 for a VAWA reauthorization bill that would close the “Boyfriend Loophole” by making it easier to take away guns from violent abusers even when they are not spouses or domestic partners. Thirty-three Republicans joined Democrats to support the bill despite explicit warnings that the NRA would be grading the vote.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that protects victims of domestic and sexual violence and funds programs that serve them. VAWA has been reauthorized three times since 1994. In each case, the legislation enjoyed bipartisan support. The 2019 reauthorization introduced by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), however, has no Republican co-sponsors with a vote expected in April.
Rep. Bass’s H.R. 1585 would fund VAWA programs for five more years. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on March 13, 2019 by a party-line vote of 22-11. Republicans Louie Gohmert of Texas and Debbie Lesko of Arizona introduced unsuccessful amendments to remove protections for transgender individuals.
Now the NRA is launching an insidious propaganda campaign claiming H.R. 1585 contains “red flag provisions” that would disarm wrongly-accused domestic abusers. No such provisions exist. H.R. 1585 merely allocates block grant funding to states that can be used to design programs to seize firearms from adjudicated domestic abusers. The bill does not mandate any federal standard for such programs, however, and states are free to use grants for other purposes entirely.
Please take the following two actions:
1) Find out if your Representative has already co-sponsored the VAWA reauthorization (H.R. 1585) by clicking here:
2) Contact your U.S. Representative through the U.S. Capitol Hotline at (202) 224-3121 and give him/her one of the following two messages, personalized to your liking:
For H.R. 1585 Co-Sponsors
As your constituent, I wanted to thank you for co-sponsoring H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Act of 2019. This legislation contains critical protections for women subject to domestic and sexual violence and is the best version of VAWA yet. I look forward to seeing you vote for H.R. 1585 on the floor of the House (hopefully soon). Please encourage your colleagues, Democratic and Republican, to co-sponsor H.R. 1585 with you and support it on the floor. Finally, please block any attempts to amend the bill to arm victims of domestic abuse. This will put victims in greater danger and is totally unacceptable! It’s important to get a clean version of H.R. 1585 over the finish line in the House. Then we can pressure the Senate to act on similar legislation. Women in America deserve these protections and Congress should get it done.
For Reps. Who Have Yet to Co-Sponsor H.R. 1585
I am your constituent and I want to see you co-sponsor H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Act, immediately. This bill funds critical programs that serve women who have been subject to domestic and sexual violence. There is absolutely no legitimate reason to oppose H.R. 1585 and I have been disgusted by the anti-LGBTQ bigotry and NRA propaganda used against it. If you want my vote and support, co-sponsor H.R. 1585 and vote for the bill when it comes to the floor of the House. I also want to see you oppose any and all amendments to the bill that propose arming victims of domestic violence. This puts victims in even greater danger and is totally unacceptable! If you are incapable of supporting a clean version of H.R. 1585, I will be organizing to defeat you in your re-election bid in 2020. This issue is that important to me.
If you don’t know who your U.S. Representative is, or want a direct-dial number, click here:
Once you have contacted your Representative, fill out the fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!