But that prohibition does not apply to stalkers who harass people with whom they were never intimate partners. Hahn says the law needs to be broadened to prevent violence in these cases.
"Victims of stalking deserve peace of mind whether or not they ever had a relationship with their stalker," Hahn said Thursday. "Allowing a stalker to own or purchase guns costs lives. My legislation will close a dangerous loophole and give law enforcement the tools they need to keep victims of stalking safe."
In addition to Hahn's bill, seven states including Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia have taken steps to address this same loophole.
According to the Center for Disease Control's 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 16.2 percent of women in the United States — around 19.3 million of them — have experienced some form of stalking. Moreover, 13.2 percent of female victims have reported being stalked by a stranger.