‘Boyfriend Loophole’ is the Target in Latest Gun Control Push

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are advocating for stricter gun-control regulations that would prevent people convicted of domestic abuse during a dating relationship from purchasing or owning firearms permanently

This effort aims to close the “boyfriend loophole,” a term used to refer to the current law that only prohibits abusive partners from accessing guns temporarily.

Last year, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which added domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, but this only resulted in a five-year ban that could be lifted if no other crimes were committed.

Recently, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced legislation to eliminate the “recently” language from the current law and make the restriction applicable to convicted stalkers. The new law would permanently prevent abusers in dating relationships from buying or owning firearms, regardless of the amount of time since their last abusive relationship. 

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“Federal law still includes a ‘boyfriend loophole’ that allows abusive dating partners subject to protection orders and convicted stalkers to access firearms,” said Dingell. “I know this fear all too well. Growing up, I lived in a house with a man – my father – who should not have had access to a gun. I remember the terror my siblings and I felt as we hid from him in the closet and in fear of him using it to hurt my mother.”

While the bill is sponsored by Democrats in the House and Senate, it does have one Republican cosponsor in the House: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. He agreed that a permanent ban on domestic abusers is needed even outside of marriage.

“Domestic abusers should never be allowed access to firearms, period,” said Fitzpatrick. “The current intimate partner loophole allows violent domestic abusers to purchase firearms, and this bipartisan legislation takes that ability away.”

This leaves me with two questions. One, would this bipartisan legislation actually prohibit violent domestic abusers from purchasing firearms? And two, is this the best course of action to protect people who find themselves in a relationship with an abuser? 

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  • Bob March 11, 2023, 7:16 am

    Apparently these people can’t read or think we can’t

    Second Amendment
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Because, otherwise, one word from a nut case that says you “abused” her, and you lose a god-given RIGHT? No – we don’t need your asinine tricks.

  • Liberalism Sucks February 26, 2023, 9:01 am

    Problem is, in today’s society if a woman CLAIMS “domestic abuse” (sometimes an nebulous as “He yelled at me and hurt my poor widdle feewings!”), the courts will often believe her and the guy is screwed for life. But if the woman abuses the man, even if it’s physical violence, nobody either believes him or cares.

  • Alan February 24, 2023, 5:04 pm

    What if the abuser in a relationship is a cop; which I understand happens a lot?
    Will it be swept under the legal rug or brought to bear on the cop just as it
    would the rest of us?

  • jerry February 24, 2023, 4:52 pm

    This article does not mention whether this law would apply to misdemeanor or felony domestic battery. Here in Illinois, you are banned from firearms for misdemeanor domestic battery. I know a guy who had an argument with his estranged wife and pinched her. Stupid! His gun owning days are over. You can’t touch your spouse! There is at least one of these in the police reports every week. Domestic battery. Mostly men, sometimes women. I will paraphrase Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion on this situation: Which other Constitutional Right can be removed for life for the commission of one misdemeanor? Answer: None!!

  • DIYinSTL February 24, 2023, 8:01 am

    Interesting comment by Rep. Dingell about her father. Ironic since her husband, Rep. John Dingell Jr. (1926 – 2019) was a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Debbie has even tried to undo some of her late husband’s work to protect the Second Amendment. John Jr. must be spinning in his grave so fast that his heart valves are floating.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment February 22, 2023, 8:59 am

    I want to know why this is referred to as “the boyfriend loop hole”??? Sounds like the government is stereotyping and singling out a specific part of the population to punish!!!

    • MattyP February 23, 2023, 12:15 pm

      Interesting thought…

  • survivor50 February 21, 2023, 8:58 pm

    ‘Boyfriend Loophole’…

    Makes guys just want to keep their REAL NAMES and ADDRESSES from any gal they meet …

    You never know when that SWITCH in their heads FLIPS up to !3, BAT SCHIFF CRAZY setting …
    TRO you say ???

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