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Prohibit dometic abusers from firearms possession

March 7, 2010
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
Dear Editor,

We need the community’s support to help push for passage of a firearms bill, SF2357. This bill would prohibit possession of firearms by persons who are subjects of domestic abuse protective orders and/or have been convicted of the crime of domestic abuse.

The Iowa House of Representatives has a great opportunity to help protect victims of domestic violence with this bill. Since 1995, two hundred and five Iowans have been killed in domestic abuse murders. Over half of these murders – 111 – involved guns. To prevent so many murders in the future, the bill currently in subcommittee, SF 2357, prohibits domestic abuse perpetrators from possessing guns and clarifies the power of local officials to enforce the law.

Under the law, people convicted of domestic abuse assault or subject to a final protective order are prohibited from possessing guns. These people get notice and a hearing with a judge. They can bring attorneys and tell their side of the story. If they disagree with the conviction, they can appeal. The prohibition on guns only last as long as the final protective order. There are plenty of steps built into this process to protect the rights of gun owners.

In the past year, Domestic Violence Alternatives /Sexual Assault Center has assisted 662 different victims in Marshall, Tama, Poweshiek and Jasper counties, through shelter, counseling, and advocacy. This includes over 1,000 counseling sessions and 6,000 nights of shelter. Most of these clients fled their homes because their partner or former partner threatened to kill them. Many of these abusers have access to firearms; therefore, the threat of death is very real for domestic abuse victims.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home.

This bill is necessary to protect victims of domestic violence. We don’t want to have to tell another parent their child was killed because the legislature waited too long to pass this law. We want a safer community now.

Dotti Thompson

Executive Director

Domestic Violence Alternatives/Sexual Assault Center, Inc.



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