Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, today announced the successful inclusion of a new provision in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will allow military judges and magistrates to issue and enforce Military Protective Orders for domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. This provision ensures that protective orders issued by the Armed Forces meet the requirements for reporting to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) databases to monitor and prevent firearm purchases. The NDAA just passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee and will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.
“The mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last year was yet another example of domestic violence as an indicator of serious danger, both to military families as well as the broader community. The investigation after that horrific crime revealed that the Department of Defense is woefully noncompliant with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act,” said Senator Gillibrand, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “This provision will help keep guns out of the hands of violent, dangerous abusers. I was proud to fight to get it included in the NDAA, and I will continue to fight for reforms in the Senate that help keep our military families safe.”
Specifically, this provision will do the following:
- Allow military judges and magistrates to issue and enforce military protective orders both for domestic violence situations as well as stalking and sexual assault.
- Following procedures that provide the survivor and the alleged offender due process, the provision will help bring greater protection to survivors by using a process that complies with federal regulations for preventing alleged offenders from possessing or purchasing firearms.
- Allow military commanders to issue ‘no contact orders’ for safety reasons and for the good order and discipline of their unit.
If survivors are denied a protective order by a military commander, now they will have the right to petition a neutral, trained military judge or magistrate for protection. That order will be written in such a way that complies with federal requirements for documenting protection orders in national databases queried prior to gun sales.