What is the 'boyfriend loophole?' | The Sun

RECENT mass shootings across the United States have activists calling for stricter gun laws.

Among the motions that Democrats have been trying to pass is closing what is known as the "boyfriend loophole," which would prevent some people from being eligible to own a gun.

What is the 'boyfriend loophole?'

Democrats are pushing for Congress to pass significant gun legislation which would close the "boyfriend loophole."

Essentially, the loophole is part of a law that prevents people convicted of domestic abuse from owning a gun.

Right now, the federal law only bars people from purchasing a gun if they are convicted of domestic violence while living with a partner, married to their partner, or have a child with their partner, according to CNN.

Democrats are looking to extend that law to those who are dating as well.

"Because we spend all this time dating, it doesn't mean that violence doesn't happen," April Zeoli, a professor of criminal justice and public health at Michigan State University, told Morning Edition's A Martínez, via NPR.

"It still happens, but the dating partners right now aren't covered by the federal restriction."

A 2018 study found that over 80 percent of intimate partner violence involved couples who were in a non-marital relationship.

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The legislation has received bipartisan support, but there are still several top House Republicans who have urged other members to vote against it.

Many of those Republicans believe that it would be a violation of a person's Second Amendment rights.

What gun law did the Supreme Court strike down in New York?

On June 23, 2022, the US Supreme Court struck down a New York law that required citizens to show proper cause or an actual need to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that overturning the law protects "an individual's right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home."

"We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need," Thomas wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Among those who have spoken out about the decision is New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

"This decision isn't just reckless. It's reprehensible," Hochul said.

"It's not what New Yorkers want."

President Joe Biden added that the ruling "contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all."

However, Tom King, president of the plaintiff New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said he was relieved after the decision.

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"The lawful and legal gun owner of New York State is no longer going to be persecuted by laws that have that have nothing to do with the safety of the people and will do nothing to make the people safer," King said.

"And maybe now we'll start going after criminals and perpetrators of these heinous acts."

The Supreme Court's decision comes just days after senators reached an agreement on new gun safety legislation that encourages "red flag" laws and enhanced background checks.

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