Posted: Feb 24, 2013 5:18 PM by Ben Trotter
Updated: Feb 25, 2013 10:17 AM
BOZEMAN - The first Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, was passed in 1994. Recently, the reauthorized bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus. It passed the Senate earlier this year, and is now on its way to the House.
Says HAVEN Executive Director Kristy McFetridge, the Act is of utmost importance.
"It saves lives. And so it's essential to the work we do, and it's essential to everyone in our community."
She spent Sunday morning in a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and legal professionals, talking about the issues of domestic violence with Sen. Baucus.
Says Kristi, "Theres a lot of programs that really rely on this funding to provide the level of services that they do."
With the issue of violence on the table, how does Baucus feel about the talk of gun control and greater regulations or bans, such as on assault weapons?
"I'm gonna do what's right, I'm gonna do what is right for Montana." says Baucus, "We have more hunting licenses per capita in our state than any other state in the nation."
While the Senator has voted yes on several gun control bills in the past, the Brady handgun bill, and the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, he says the current climate of regulation comes second to the needs of his constituency.
"I'm a Montanan, I own a gun, I'm going to be making sure that whatever I vote on or agree to is something that makes sense for Montana...my job is to represent Montana. I'm just the hired hand, I'm just the employee."
Now that the Violence Against Women Act has passed the Senate, it goes to the House for a vote, however it may have a tough time getting passed, as House Republicans have drafted their own version of the bill.