Choking law used sparsely in first year

— “The new law is working to hold abusers accountable, but it is just a tool,” said Colleen O’Brien, program services coordinator at Vera House, . “The real need is for individuals who use abusive behaviors to stop violent behavior in all its forms.”

Last month, new legislation was passed that would ban those who have been convicted of obstruction of breathing from purchasing a firearm. The legislation bans anyone who has been convicted of the statute and who has shown a relation to their victim to be included in the federal FBI database. The database includes information on people who are not allowed to legally obtain a firearm. Background checks prior to purchase would highlight their ineligibility to purchase the gun.

“I think that’s a huge benefit of the law,” Winn said.

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