NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Before lawmakers ended their legislative session, they finalized a domestic violence prevention bill. 22News is working for you to explain what the bill would do.
It’s not a law yet, but the goal of the bill is to empower victims. It would establish a domestic violence offender registry and mandate a first offense charge of assault and battery. The bill would require than anyone arrested stay in jail for at least 6 hours for a cooling off period.
Lawmakers say that gives the suspect time to think about what they’ve done, and it gives the victim time to get to safety. One woman told 22News she doesn’t think 6 hours is long enough.
“No I think a good 12 hours would be better for someone to sober up or cool off or give the family a chance to leave,” said Gloria Lampron of Williamsburg.
If this bill becomes a law, it would also remove the requirement that people need to get a firearms identification card before buying pepper spray. The bills ultimate goal is to slow down the process and make sure information about the offender’s history is available to the justice system.