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At Democrats' Gun Sit-In, Kuster Draws Link to Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster joined dozens of Democratic colleagues who took over the floor of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday to call for a vote on gun reforms.

“We have got to take a stand,” Kuster said Wednesday, during the gun discussion. “We can be silent no longer. We need a vote on the floor of this House.”

In her remarks at the Congressional sit-in, Kuster tried to draw a connection between gun violence, domestic violence and sexual assault. This, one day after she spoke up on the floor of the house to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors by sharing several stories about incidents in which she was assaulted.

(You can hear Kuster's testimony at Wednesday's sit-in beginning at about the 6:15 mark in this video. Her testimony about sexual assault can be found here.)

During her remarks at Wednesday's sit-in, Kuster did not call for any specific gun reforms, instead citing statistics about domestic violence and homicide in New Hampshire.

According to New Hampshire’s domestic violence fatality review committee, the state saw 79 domestic violence homicides between 2001 and 2010, and guns were involved in about half of those incidents.

Last week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen also joined in on a filibuster led by Senate Democrats in an effort to force a vote on gun reforms in that chamber. The Senate did end up holding a vote on four pieces of gun legislation earlier this week, but none were successful.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte has joined a bipartisan group of senators working on a proposal to keep guns away from people who are on the TSA's "no fly" list.

Casey McDermott is a senior news editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Throughout her time as an NHPR reporter and editor, she has worked with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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