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Detroit Free Press: Rep. Dingell aims to close gun loopholes for stalkers

Detroit Free Press

Washington, DC, July 12, 2017 | Todd Spangler

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, introduced legislation today with a Republican colleague that she said would close loopholes that allow abusers and stalkers access to guns in Michigan and many other states. 

The Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act, also being sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., would bar convicted stalkers from owning firearms and require that people found to have abused dating partners are blocked from purchasing or possessing firearms as well. 

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

The National Rifle Association, which often takes positions against legislation curtailing firearms ownership, did not immediately respond to the Free Press with a question about its position on the bill. While the legislation faces an uncertain future at best, it may help that Donovan, a former district attorney in New York City’s Richmond County, has signed on. 

 “No woman should ever live in fear for her life or safety because of domestic violence,” said Dingell. “Too many families experience senseless tragedies that could have been prevented.”

“When I was district attorney, the crimes that kept me up at night were the ones that could have been prevented,” added Donovan. “There are clear warning signs — including a stalking conviction — before somebody commits serious acts of violence against a current or estranged partner. It’s common sense to keep tools of violence out of their hands. ”

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