For the first time, domestic violence has officially become a separate crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In the past, domestic violence crimes have been prosecuted by military officials under general categories such as assault. Now, the crime will have its own justice category and ramifications which will convey the seriousness of the offense that wasn't present previously.
This change came about after there was a shift in military policy due to the lack of domestic violence as a serious and specific crime under the past military law that was in place. In regular United States law, a domestic violence conviction can often result in ramifications to a person's record as well as other privileges such as gun ownership. However, due to the fact that domestic violence was previously not a crime separated from other assaults in military law, these notes were not made on their records. This has resulted in many people having the ability to possess firearms when they should not due to domestic violence convictions.
This change was triggered by the Texas church shooting by a former airman over a year ago, who was previously kicked out of the military for assaulting his wife and child. However, if he had been charged properly with domestic violence, his right to purchase firearms would have been revoked and this tragedy could've been avoided. Since this incident, over 4,000 former servicemen have had their gun right revoked due to previous charges.
President Trump is expected to sign this change into law within the next week in hopes to correct this loophole and provide safety for victim's in addition to equivalent charges in military and United States law.
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