Violence Against Women Act Will Allow Non-Romantic Relationships to Trigger Red Flag Gun Confiscation

A woman admires weapons at a gun show where thousands of different weapons are displayed for sale on July 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Violence Against Women Act of 2021 (VAWA), which passed the House in the Spring and could now be taken up by the Senate, contains a red flag provision applying even to those involved in non-romantic relationships.

The Los Angeles Times reported the VAWA, which passed the House in March, contained language to expand federal domestic partner laws to include boyfriends and dating partners. The expansion allows the inclusion of gun bans for boyfriends with a domestic violence conviction and also “expands the prohibition to current and former dating partners, as well as those convicted of misdemeanor stalking.”

The prohibitive language was part of a provision drafted by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), who told the Times, “I’m not trying to take guns away from most people, but if someone’s demonstrated that they could abuse somebody, then we need to do something to prevent violence.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) speaks at the “Impeachment Now!” rally in support of an immediate inquiry towards articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump on the grounds of the U.S. Capital on September 26, 2019in Washington, DC. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MoveOn Political Action)

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) speaks at the “Impeachment Now!” rally in support of an immediate inquiry towards articles of impeachment against then-President Donald Trump on the grounds of the U.S. Capital on September 26, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MoveOn Political Action)

Dingle pointed to Gabby Giffords’ gun control group as informing her decision to seek to broaden the prohibition. (David Chipman, once nominated by President Joe Biden to head the ATF, is a senior policy adviser at Giffords.)

In addition to expanding federal law to apply domestic partner rules to non-domestic partner relationships, the text of the VAWA makes clear that the prohibitions contained within the Act apply to relationships that are not even romantic in nature.

For example, under the heading “Prohibiting Persons Convicted of Misdemeanor Crimes Against Dating Partners and Subject to Protection Orders,” the Act states:

Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to require that sexual contact between two persons have occurred to establish the existence of any relationship for purposes of this paragraph. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘dating partner’ means, with respect to person, a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person.

It appears that a “social relationship” that may be “intimate” but not “romantic” falls under the purview of the VAWA as well.

On October 5, 2021, Radio Iowa published an interview with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in which he made clear he would support a VAWA that did not contain the gun controls evident in the current bill.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2020. (Tom Williams/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2020. (Tom Williams/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Grassley said, “I supported enactment of the original VAWA in 1994 and have voted to reauthorize and build the program many times.”

“There’s no disagreement on the original Violence Against Women Act. It’s when you try to get guns involved and the Second Amendment issues involved,” he added. “There’s probably four or five things that people want to stick onto this that have some relation against the Violence Against Women Act, but it brings out a lot of partisanship.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a TPUSA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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