Senate Democrats led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are hoping to create new incentives for states to go beyond federal requirements to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers.
The Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act would give out federal grants to states that enact laws that exceed federal guidelines on domestic violence prohibitions on gun ownership, and seize firearms when adjudicating or responding to domestic violence.
Blumenthal’s office said the grants would be distributed by the Department of Justice.
The bill is similar to legislation proposed by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), who said the bill would provide grants to states that require officials to consider whether a gun is present in domestic violence situations, and remove those guns from homes when they are deemed to be a threat.
Moore said her bill is aimed at protecting the lives of American women who are shot and killed because of the presence of guns.
“Hundreds more across our nation were fatally shot by an intimate partner,” she said. “As a strong advocate for women, particularly women who have suffered through domestic violence, I remain committed to doing all I can to prevent these tragedies.”
Blumenthal’s Senate companion bill is cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).