The NRA opposes court orders that take away guns in domestic-violence cases
It seems not to bother the National Rifle Association that nearly half the women killed in this country die at the hands of domestic partners.
Consider THIS SITUATION:
Early last year, after a series of frightening encounters with her former husband, Stephanie Holten went to court in Spokane, Wash., to obtain a temporary order for protection.
Her former husband, Corey Holten, threatened to put a gun in her mouth and pull the trigger, she wrote in her petition. He also said he would “put a cap” in her if her new boyfriend “gets near my kids.” In neat block letters she wrote, “He owns guns, I am scared.”
The judge’s order prohibited Mr. Holten from going within two blocks of his former wife’s home and imposed a number of other restrictions. What it did not require him to do was surrender his guns.
Advocates for domestic violence victims have long called for stricter laws governing firearms and protective orders. Their argument is rooted in a grim statistic: when women die at the hand of an intimate partner, that hand is more often than not holding a gun.
In these most volatile of human dramas, they contend, the right to bear arms must give ground to the need to protect a woman’s life.
In statehouses across the country, though, the N.R.A. and other gun-rights groups have beaten back legislation mandating the surrender of firearms in domestic violence situations. They argue that gun ownership, as a fundamental constitutional right, should not be stripped away for anything less serious than a felony conviction — and certainly not, as an N.R.A. lobbyist in Washington State put it to legislators, for the “mere issuance of court orders.”