Domestic violence bill one step from becoming law

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 6:54 PM

With a single signature, domestic violence survivors say Governor Jay Inslee has the power to protect victims from their abusers.

After being voted a similar measure in the past, state senators approved HB 1840, which allows a judge the power to take away all firearms from a person with a restraining order if they’re considered a threat.

“It’s amazing to me to finally feel safe and know that this doesn’t have to happen to anyone else,” said Courtney Weaver, a survivor.

In 2010, Weaver’s then boyfriend shot her arm and face.

“It went through my upper face and shattered all the bones,” said Weaver.

Her injuries have caused 13 reconstructive surgeries, which have amounted medical bills to nearly $438,000 so far. Despite the man being arrested, Weaver says his registered guns were still in the home.

“He could have easily gotten out of jail used his key to get in the house, taken those firearms to the hospital where I was at,” she said.

According to Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, one quarter of domestic violence perpetrators who kill their spouses were served with a protection order before doing it, in many cases, with guns.

“We’ll never know the number of people that it (the bill) saves but they’re out there,” said Weaver.

A spokesman from Gun Owners Action League of Washington (GOAL) says the organization is neutral on the bill since it mimics Federal Law.

While the Second Amendment Foundation can’t take a stance on legislation because it’s a non-profit, a spokesman says the bill would only temporarily take away the gun rights of those accused of domestic violence.

Weaver says only if Inslee signs the bill into law will she truly begin to heal from her attack.

“And all my pain wasn’t in vain. That I had the right to fight for my rights just as much as my abuser did,” she said.

While Inslee hasn’t officially received the bill yet, advocates for it say he’s already shown strong support for it.
 

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