Activists Are Making Some Headway In Banning Domestic Abusers From Buying Guns

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

Fear that gun laws will never change is one of the most dispiriting narratives that emerges after every mass shooting in America. But a few bipartisan strides on the local level are giving people hope.


Salon reports that activists focusing on the connection between domestic abuse and acts of gun violence have become a focal point of legislative change, with surprising results. According to WBALTV, a rally held on Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland, actually won some Second Amendment Rights activists to the other side.

The rally was hosted by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, an organization that considers itself “pro-gun safety.” The testimony from women who had been subjected to domestic abuse, explaining how their partners having guns became a part of that violence, moved the hearts and minds of the NRA advocates present.

“We support the moms in this. We are all against domestic abusers. We believe they’re criminals. They shouldn’t have handguns, or guns of any kind,” said one Second Amendment right’s activist.

Moms Demand Action was founded by Shannon Watts, who seems to think that asking if Americans are “numb” to gun violence is a way of diminishing the work of organizations like hers. She told Salon that after seeing success with bills that “disarm domestic abusers” in 25 states and Washington, DC, “we’re getting ready to do it in Maryland, maybe Pennsylvania.”

In Maryland, the rally was held in support of legislation that would close a loophole that allows people convicted of domestic abuse to keep their guns; they are currently only barred from buying more. The new law, expected to be introduced within a few weeks, would require offenders to turn in their guns, and force them to present a receipt in court after handing them into either the police department or licensed gun dealer.

Though federal law already prohibits domestic abuse offenders from purchasing guns, it is on the local level that implementation fails or succeeds. Salon reports that a Maryland organization called Court Watch Montgomery observed 126 court cases in which the offender was supposed to be told to turn in their guns, by law. Only one was informed to do so. These are the sorts of changes Moms Demand Action and organizations like them are seeking to make.

You can read more about the work people are doing to fight gun violence on the local level here.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



Gun makers have other problems they need to be worried about, too:

Via Reuters:

“We are very concerned that Remington will be unable to refinance debt that comes due in April 2019 given its weak operating performance and high financial leverage,” Kevin Cassidy, a Moody’s Investors Service Inc analyst, wrote in a research note last month...

The families of the victims at Sandy Hook also sued Remington. That case is ongoing...

Remington’s capital structure is currently unsustainable given its weak operating performance, significant volatility in the demand for firearms and ammunition, and high debt load, according to Moody’s.

The armsmaker’s sales have declined in part because of receding fears that guns will become more heavily regulated by the U.S. government, according to credit ratings agencies. President Donald Trump has said he will “never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Since Trump’s election victory in November 2016, American Outdoor Brands Corp (AOBC.O) [Smith & Wesson, Thompson] has lost over half of its stock market value, while Sturm Ruger & Company Inc(RGR.N) has fallen 15 percent. By comparison, the S&P 500 has increased by a third in the same period.

Remington’s sales plunged 27 percent in the first nine months of 2017, resulting in a $28 million operating loss.

Colt’s Manufacturing Co LLC, a competitor of Remington, emerged from bankruptcy in 2016 following falling sales of its sports rifles and the loss of military contracts.