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Domestic violence bills progress through Legislature

Three of five bills receive approval



  A package of domestic violence bills authored by state Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, moved closer to the governor's desk last week after testimony and approval in a House committee.

  On March 26, three of Moreno's five bills targeting domestic violence offenders received approval from the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice. They head to the House floor this week.

  House Bill 753 prohibits an offender from possessing a firearm while subject to a protective order. It also prohibits an offender from possessing a firearm for 10 years after serving jail time for domestic battery. House Bill 747 adds "domestic abuse aggravated assault" to the Louisiana Criminal Code's crimes of violence list and makes a second conviction for domestic abuse battery a felony. House Bill 750 requires judges to expedite protective orders into the Louisiana Protective Order Registry.

  Moreno's House Bill 1052, which creates the Domestic Violence Prevention Commission, was referred to the House Health and Welfare Committee. House Bill 749, which allows a domestic abuse victim to be granted an immediate divorce, and House Bill 748, which allows for exemplary civil damages to be awarded to domestic abuse victims in certain cases, were referred to the Committee on Civil Law and Procedure.

  Originally, Moreno's HB 753 included a measure for law enforcement to remove any guns from the scene of a domestic violence call, but that provision was removed in order to gain neutrality from the National Rifle Association. House Bill 673, however, from state Rep. Alfred Williams, D-Baton Rouge, aims to authorize gun confiscation from domestic violence scenes. His bill is pending before the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.

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