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First Offender Convicted Under Domestic Abuse Law

William M. Smith faces up to 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm due to the federal Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, which makes it a federal offense for anyone with a previous domestic violence conviction to own a gun. Without the protection of this law, Smith's second domestic attack on his wife would likely have been classified as aggrevated assault unders state laws, bringing only a two-year maximum sentence. U.S. Attorney Stephen Rapp called the law "an effective tool to stop the escalation of violence which sometimes follows the first domestic abuse incident."

Media Resources: The Associated Press - August 12, 1997



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