The National Rifle Association is challenging proposed legislation that would prohibit stalkers and perpetrators of domestic violence from buying guns, arguing that not all stalkers are violent and that the bill violates their Second Amendment rights.
The bill, introduced by Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar, would shore up some loopholes in existing federal law, which already bars those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence against “intimate partners” to include those who harm “dating partners” and adds convicted stalkers to the grouping.
The NRA wrote to senators to voice their opposition to the bill, noting that the group “strongly opposes” the legislation because it “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for firearm prohibitions,” according to the Huffington Post, which obtained the letter.
The NRA also argued that stalkers shouldn’t be prohibited from buying guns.
“’Stalking’ offenses do not necessarily include violent or even threatening behavior,” the letter continues. “Under federal law, for example, stalking includes ‘a course of conduct’ that never involves any personal contact whatsoever, occurs wholly through the mail, online media, or telephone service, is undertaken with the intent to ‘harass’ and would be reasonably expected to cause (even if it doesn’t succeed in causing) ‘substantial emotional distress’ to another person.”
The NRA is ignoring some pretty significant numbers when they push against reform: 76% of women who are murdered by an intimate partner were stalked beforehand, according to a study by the New York City Department of Health and a number of universities. At least three women a day are murdered by a boyfriend or a husband, according to the American Psychological Association. Furthermore, domestic abusers with access to guns are seven times more likely to murder their partners, according to a study funded by a number of national health organizations.
The NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment from msnbc.