In A Flash

Senate committee supports expanded definition of domestic abuse

By: - May 25, 2021 3:12 pm
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A bill that explicitly states Louisiana’s definition of domestic abuse includes coercion and other forms of control advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without objection Tuesday after the bill’s sponsor satisfied concerns expressed by the NRA.

Rep. Malinda White (D-Bogalusa), an outspoken survivor of domestic abuse, is the sponsor of HB 159, which if passed, would define domestic abuse as “Any act or threat to act that is intended to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or exact revenge on the other party, for the purpose of preventing the victim from reporting to law enforcement or requesting medical assistance or emergency victim services, or for the purpose of depriving the victim of the means or ability to resist the abuse or escape the relationship.”

Because Louisiana law bars Louisianians convicted of domestic abuse from possessing firearms, the National Rifle Association had expressed opposition to White’s bill, saying it could require gun owners who’ve never physically attacked anyone to forfeit their firearms, White, who has consistently voted for loosening gun restrictions, said she was “able to compromise with the groups that oppose the bill” by adding amendments “which make it clear that the due process rights of gun owners are protected in Louisiana.”

Her bill now moves to the Senate.

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.