Press Release

Women Leaders Call on MI Gov. Rick Snyder to Veto Dangerous Bill

January 12, 2015 – Local and national women leaders, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, are calling on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to veto a bill before him that would weaken current protections for victims of domestic violence and stalking in Michigan by allowing some individuals subject to domestic abuse and stalking protection orders to obtain a concealed pistol license. If enacted, the bill, S.B., 789, would also allow those individuals subject to restraining orders in Michigan to legally carry a concealed weapon in 39 other states due to reciprocity agreements.

Under current Michigan law, all individuals subject to domestic violence and stalking protection orders are prohibited from receiving a concealed carry license.

In a letter delivered to Gov. Snyder on Friday, January 9th, the women leaders urged him to veto the irresponsible bill.

“As women who are advocates for the safety and security of women and families, we have grave concerns over SB 789, a bill recently passed by the Michigan legislature that would allow your state to issue gun carry permits to domestic abusers. Domestic violence and access to firearms are a lethal combination, and this policy undermines the safety of American women. We urge you to veto this bill. Allowing dangerous domestic abusers and stalkers to obtain firearms needlessly puts the lives of women and their families at risk.”

Click here to read the full letter.

The group of local and national women leaders join a chorus of Michigan voices urging Gov. Snyder to veto the legislation, including the editorial boards of The Detroit Free PressThe Times Herald, and The Battle Creek Enquirer.Domestic violence, stalking, and access to guns are a lethal mix in the United States and Michigan. One in four women experiences domestic abuse in her lifetime, and one in six women experiences stalking. Meanwhile, the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk a woman will die by five times.

From 2003 to 2012, 53.5 percent of female domestic violence homicide victims in Michigan were killed with guns.

The full letter follows:

Governor Rick Snyder

P.O. Box 30013

Lansing, Michigan 48909

January 9, 2015

Dear Governor Snyder,

As women who are advocates for the safety and security of women and families, we have grave concerns over SB 789, a bill recently passed by the Michigan legislature that would allow your state to issue gun carry permits to domestic abusers. Domestic violence and access to firearms are a lethal combination, and this policy undermines the safety of American women. We urge you to veto this bill.

Gun violence against women is an American epidemic. One in 4 women experiences domestic abuse in her lifetime and 1 in 6 women experiences stalking. Meanwhile, the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk a woman will die by five times. American women are 11 times more likely to die by a gun than women in other similarly developed countries. Between 2001 and 2012 alone, 6,410 women were murdered throughout the country by an intimate partner with a gun. In Michigan, from 2003 to 2012, 53.5 percent of female domestic violence homicide victims were killed with guns.

SB 789 would weaken current protections for victims of domestic abuse and stalking in Michigan- actually allowing some individuals subject to domestic violence and stalking protection orders to obtain a concealed pistol license, when under current law, they would be prohibited. For over 20 years, federal protections have been in place through the Violence Against Women Act that recognize the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of those who perpetrate domestic violence. Federal law, however, must be complemented by state laws, policies and procedures to provide complete protection to victims of abuse. If SB 789 were to be enacted, some women in Michigan would be left in danger, as the protections they have relied on would be removed. In addition, the concealed weapons permits would be valid in 39 other states through reciprocity agreements.

Allowing dangerous domestic abusers and stalkers to obtain firearms needlessly puts the lives of women and their families at risk. We respectfully request that you veto SB 789.

Sincerely,

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Co-Founder, Americans for Responsible Solutions

Carol Robles-Roman, President and CEO, Legal Momentum

Deborah D. Tucker, Executive Director, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

Katie Ray-Jones, President and CEO, National Domestic Violence Hotline

Kiersten Stewart, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Futures Without Violence

Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Director of Social Policy & Politics, Third Way

Lisalyn Jacobs, Vice President for Government Relations, Legal Momentum

Lori Haas, Virginia State Director, The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

Lori Weinstein, CEO/Executive Director, Jewish Women International

Mai Fernandez, Executive Diretor, National Center for Victims of Crime

Margot Bennett, Executive Director, Women Against Gun Violence

Michelle M. Garcia, Director, Stalking Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime

Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Ruth Glenn, Exeuctive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Sue Hornik, Exeuctive Director, States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Center for American Progress

Michigan State Leaders:

Barbara Niess-May, MPA, MSW, Executive Director, SafeHouse Center

Beth L. Morrison, President/CEO, HAVEN

Jenny Kinne, President, National Organization for Women (NOW) Grand Rapids Chapter

Penny Wulff, Board Member, Turning Point, Inc.

Valentina Djelaj, Coordinator, Connect to Protect-Detroit Coalition

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