WASHINGTON—Congressman Fulcher released the following statement in regard to his vote against H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.

“Although a bill called the “Violence Against Women Act” sounds like an effort everyone can support, upon looking further into this legislation, I found several provisions that concerned me. Among them:

  • The bill expands the list of misdemeanor convictions that can result in a permanent ban on an individual being able to purchase a gun.
    • Creates a new lifetime prohibition for person’s convicted of “stalking” crimes, that could include emotional distress as adequate evidence for a gun purchase ban.
    • Applies prohibitions on certain and related misdemeanor convictions to those that occurred before the legislation would be passed.
  • The bill allows federal grant funds to be used to develop and implement assault and violence policies that result in victims and accused being in the same room. This can not only be traumatizing for the victim, but may also pose legal consequences. In a non-courtroom setting where both sides are discussing what happened, the alleged victim could be revealing information and emotion in a way that could undermine that information in court.  For the alleged perpetrator, they could be unduly “quasi-adjudicated” in a process that does NOT follow proper court procedures.  This could not only violate the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but also undermine a credible case of sexual assault.
  • The bill expands tribal jurisdiction over “non-tribal people.”  These include giving tribal government law enforcement authority over non-tribal individuals when in regard to “domestic violence, dating violence, obstruction of justice, sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, and assault of a law enforcement or corrections officer.”  In the past, any legal concern by a tribal law enforcement authority has meant working with non-tribal law enforcement to investigate, arrest, etc. This should continue to be a joint effort.

Additionally, republicans have requested for this bill to be passed multiple times in its original form, without the partisan portions that have been added to the bill. Instead, democrats have insisted that this controversial, partisan version is voted on, which is not likely to be approved by the Senate or signed by the President, and could result in a lapse of funding for these vital programs.”