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Public Statements

Preventing Victims of Stalking Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. HAHN. Mr. Speaker, under current federal law, individuals convicted of ``misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence'' are disqualified from possessing firearms. This policy has proven crucial to protecting victims of domestic violence from serious injury or death.

However, many states do not define stalking as a type of domestic violence crime, allowing convicted stalkers to own and purchase firearms and leaving victims of stalking unprotected. Moreover, while federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to someone ``subject to a court order restraining them from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner,'' not all stalkers have a romantic relationship with their victims and thus don't fall into this category. However their lack of a romantic relationship does not preclude the fact that they still pose a considerable threat to their victims.

The Protecting Victims of Stalking Act of 2013 works to remedy these gaps in federal law. All victims, whether or not they have had a romantic relationship with their stalker, should be afforded these critical protections. The Protecting Victims of Stalking Act of 2013 closes these dangerous loopholes by prohibiting the sale of firearms to any person subject to a restraining order for stalking as well as prohibiting any individual convicted of stalking from buying or possessing a firearm. Only by addressing these glaring vulnerabilities can we begin to reduce the many injuries and deaths often associated with domestic violence.

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