Domestic Violence Gun Bill Advances Through Committee
A bill that puts tougher gun restrictions on people who are involved in certain domestic violence situations cleared committee Wednesday.
The legislation by New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno prohibits a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse battery from possessing a gun for 10 years. Moreno testified with disturbing homicide statistics.
"Eighty percent of women murdered in Louisiana are killed by either a husband, a partner or an ex-partner," said Moreno. "Seventy-four percent of these murders were committed with firearms."
Moreno said other states that have legislation in place like House Bill 753 have seen a 38 percent decrease in domestic violence murder rates.
Originally, the measure would have also required police to seize guns at the scene of a domestic violence incident, but Moreno removed that part from the bill. Shreveport Representative Roy Burrell said he disagreed with the provision's deletion.
"I think we're coming short of what we're really trying to do and that is to actually protect the person," said Burrell. "If that weapon is not somehow seized, then they could come back and use it, and nine times out of 10 -- if they are a violent person -- they might end up using it."
The measure would also prohibit firearm possession for the duration of a protective order associated with family violence.
Moreno said the NRA wanted the weapon seizure provision taken out of the bill, which is why she amended it.
Winnsboro Rep. Steve Pylant said she should have kept it in.
"Because your bill is going to pass," Pylant said, "any time a bunch of ticked off women come to the capitol, they get their way, OK?"
The statement garnered laughter and cheers from the many anti-domestic violence activists present at the meeting.
There was no objection to the bill that now heads to the house floor.