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Nearly a month after the Parkland high school shooting took 17 lives, Oregon has passed a new gun control law preventing citizens convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing and owning firearms. The state is the first to enact any gun laws since the mass shooting on Feb. 14.
Previously, a “boyfriend loophole” in state and federal law let unmarried convicted abusers purchase guns. The law, which was passed by lawmakers last month after a close vote in both the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate, expands current measures that prevent citizens convicted on stalking or domestic violence charges from owning a firearm.
“I’m proud to sign this bill, making Oregon to the first state to take action to prevent senseless gun violence since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” Gov. Kate Brown (D) said, the Hill reports. “It’s long past time we hold the White House and Congress accountable. Now’s the time to enact real change and federal gun safety legislation.”
While Americans convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” are banned from owning guns by federal law, only 29 states and federal territories expand on the federal government’s limitations, according to data from the Giffords Law Center. This means in some states, unmarried domestic abusers can purchase guns if the physical abuse happened while the abuser wasn’t living with a romantic partner.
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.