The House passed legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year, no thanks to the 157 Republicans and lone Democrat who opposed the measure, according to HuffPost.
Those who voted against the bill, which reauthorizes the 1994 domestic violence law for five more years, were mostly concerned with provisions that would widen the basis for stripping abusers’ gun rights.
HuffPost reported that the National Rifle Association — a major backer of the Republican Party — told congressional members that voting for the measure would be reflected in their NRA ratings.
The bill would expand on existing law, under which “only people convicted of domestic violence offenses against spouses or family members can lose their gun rights,” to close the “boyfriend loophole” and include those convicted of abusing their partners.
It also would “prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses from owning or buying firearms, as well as abusers subject to temporary protective orders.”
Some Republicans complained that the House was trying to pass a version of the bill that would go nowhere in the Senate, due to the increased gun restrictions; but Democrats believe their colleagues on the right are beholden to the NRA.
As HuffPost noted in April:
“In the 2018 election cycle, [the NRA] gave $690,950 to GOP congressional candidates versus $19,454 to Democratic congressional candidates. The gun rights organization spent nearly half a billion dollars in the 2016 election cycle, including $30 million on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign alone.”
The lone Democrat to vote against the bill, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), said in a statement: ″I was disappointed that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization was made partisan with the inclusion of language that would strip individuals’ right to due process with respect to their 2nd Amendment rights.”
Peterson has an A rating with the NRA.