Here's what you need to know about the 'boyfriend loophole' holding up gun safety negotiations

June 20, 2022 at 19:46

To get it in your inbox, sign up for free hereThat's how Sen. John Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator on the bipartisan gun safety package , described last week's deliberations.
Funding for red flag laws and what to do about the "boyfriend loophole."
Both issues present a number of thorny challenges for negotiators, but the "boyfriend loophole" specifically has been cited as a considerable roadblock.
Here's everything you need to know about the loophole, and why it's become such a challenge in gun safety negotiations.
What is the 'boyfriend loophole'?
The "boyfriend loophole" deals with whether unmarried partners can have guns if they were found guilty of violence against a dating partner.
But as of now, it doesn't apply to other types of dating partners, hence the label "boyfriend loophole."
Supporters of closing the boyfriend loophole have repeatedly pointed to data that they say underscores the need to address it.
More broadly, another study by Everytown for Gun Safety found that there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental killings.
At least 19 states have enacted laws that close the "boyfriend loophole," per data complied by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Other states -- like Alabama, Colorado, and Iowa -- prohibit convicted domestic abusers from having guns, but don't specifically close the loophole.
The National Rifle Association and other pro-firearm groups have long opposed closing the "boyfriend loophole," casting it as an attempt by Democrats to advance a gun control agenda.