Home>Articles>Menendez, Booker urge DHS to enforce law barring guns for domestic abusers

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Menendez, Booker urge DHS to enforce law barring guns for domestic abusers

By Nikita Biryukov, February 05 2021 5:31 pm

U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-North Bergen), Cory Booker (D-Newark) and a slew of Democratic colleagues on Friday demanded the Department of Homeland Security to begin enforcing a law named after a late New Jersey senator that bars those with a domestic abuse conviction from possessing firearms.

The letter asks Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to enforce the Lautenberg Amendment, a law named after U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in 2013, that bars all individuals, including federal law enforcement officials, convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from possessing guns.

“Regrettably, some of the nation’s law enforcement agencies charged with protecting the public have failed to comply with this important law,” the senators wrote in a letter led by Menendez and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). “We request that DHS act swiftly to ensure that federal law enforcement meaningfully addresses domestic violence within its ranks.  In addition to mandating domestic violence training at all DHS law enforcement agencies, we request that you take action to ensure that all federal officers are appropriately screened for domestic violence convictions on an ongoing basis.”

A Stanford University Study in 2017 found the law led to a 17% drop in murders of female spouses.

The DHS Inspector General last year found Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not screen agents for domestic abuse convictions.

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