Representatives Scott Taylor and Tulsi Gabbard Introduce Bipartisan Companion Bill to Senate Domestic Violence Loophole Closure Act
Washington, D.C. - Today, Representatives Scott Taylor (VA-2) and Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) introduced a bipartisan companion bill to the Domestic Violence Loophole Closure Act, introduced by Senators Jeff Flake (AZ) and Martin Henrich (NM), which requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to promptly report any member of the Armed Forces convicted of domestic violence offenses to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill sets forth reporting deadlines not to exceed three days after the date of entry of judgment and requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a notice to Congress if the deadline is not met, including an explanation for the delay and a statement outlining when the name and other information of the offender will be submitted.
“The shooting in Sutherland Springs this past weekend has led many people to ask what could have been done to prevent this tragedy,” said Congressman Scott Taylor. “Our constitution protects the rights of law-abiding citizens, and I will defend them. The testimony from the U.S. Air Force which surfaced in recent days, clearly shows there is a gap in DoD reporting requirements of domestic abuse crimes to the FBI database, with respect to how they match up with civilian domestic abuse crimes. Studies show offenders committing these acts are more likely to inflict harm on others utilizing a gun. This bill responsibly tightens the reporting requirements of DoD to report service members who are convicted of committing domestic violence and will help to ensure violent criminals do not obtain firearms.”
“Keeping firearms out of the hands of anyone convicted of domestic violence is already the law of the land and must be enforced across the board,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “The shooting in Sutherland Springs pointed to a glaring hole in Department of Defense reporting that made it possible for the shooter to purchase a gun, even though he had been found guilty of domestic violence while serving in the Air Force. Our bipartisan legislation increases transparency and mandates reporting of service members convicted of domestic violence to the FBI-administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which would prevent them from purchasing or owning firearms. Congress must act and pass this common-sense measure to help improve the safety of our communities."