Domestic violence bill gets 2nd chance


AUGUSTA – Killed when a controversial amendment was added to it in the House, a bill meant to provide a new layer of protection for victims of domestic violence was resurrected Monday.

The legislation, which would require police to warn some victims of domestic abuse if their tormentor attempts to illegally purchase a firearm, passed its initial votes unanimously in both the House and Senate.

In its original form, the bill would have required that state and local police work to contact abuse victims if their abusers attempt to illegally buy a gun. It’s against federal law for a person with a protection-from-abuse order against them to buy a firearm.

The bill became encumbered by an amendment in the House that would have required new training for police departments in the handling of seized firearms. The Senate refused to consider the bill as amended, sending it to the dead files.

As part of a deal to allow the domestic violence bill to be reconsidered, the amendment was split off and will be considered as stand-alone legislation, possibly today.