Skip to content
Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., speaks as the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee holds a markup hearing to craft the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act, massive legislation that is a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. The high cost of the bill, to help families and combat climate change, would be financed in part by increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Democratic U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin and Debbie Dingell of Michigan jointly introduced a resolution on Tuesday that notes the connection between gun violence and domestic violence. 

If passed, the resolution would declare that there is a relationship “between firearm violence, misogyny, and violence against women” and affirm “the importance of preventing individuals with a history of violence against women from accessing a firearm.” However, it wouldn’t change any laws.

Moore and Dingell introduced the resolution a week before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in United States v. Rahimi. The respondent in the case, Zackey Rahimi, argues that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) — which bans the sale of firearms to anyone “subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child” — violates his Second Amendment rights.

Gun violence prevention groups note the strong connection between domestic violence deaths and firearms.

More than 600 women are shot to death every year by intimate partners in the United States, according to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a group started by former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords after she survived a gunshot wound to the head. 

“An abusive partner’s access to a firearm is a serious threat to victims of domestic violence, making it five times more likely that a woman will be killed,” Giffords Law Center said.

What’s more, 68.2% of mass shootings between 2014 and 2019 were carried out by people who either had a history of domestic violence or had killed a member of their family or an intimate partner, according to a study by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.

“Gun violence has many forms, but it is clear that a history of interpersonal violence should be a deciding factor in whether or not an individual should continue to have access to a gun,” Lisa Geller, lead author of the study, said in a news release about the study.

Democrats in Michigan are working to pass state laws that would prohibit people convicted of domestic violence charges from possessing firearms.

In Michigan, it is already illegal for those convicted of felony domestic violence charges to possess firearms until three years after they complete their sentences. In September, Michigan Democratic state Sen. Stephanie Chang and Democratic state Rep. Amos O’Neal introduced legislation that would extend that ban to people convicted on misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

In 2022, guns were used in 88.5% of domestic violence deaths in Wisconsin, according to a report from End Domestic Abuse WI.

That same year, the conservative-controlled state Supreme Court ruled that those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors can continue to carry guns. 

“The Court’s recent decision runs in direct contradiction to what is identified by experts nationally and in our state to keep domestic violence victims and survivors safe,” End Domestic Abuse WI said in a statement after the decision.

As for Moore and Dingell’s resolution, it’s unlikely that it will be taken up by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. 

In 2022, when Democrats controlled the House, just 14 House Republicans voted for a gun violence prevention law that closed the “boyfriend loophole,” which allowed people convicted of domestic violence to own a weapon if the person they committed domestic violence against was a dating partner and not a spouse, someone they lived with, or a person they had a child with. 

“People with a history of domestic violence shouldn’t have access to guns – period,” Dingell said in a news release announcing the resolution. “The evidence is clear and convincing that the presence of a firearm in an abusive situation makes homicide five times more likely. Congress must act to close loopholes in the law that allow abusers to access guns and put women and families in danger.”

Related articles


Share this article:
Subscribe to our newsletter