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As mass shootings continue to plague the United States, most recently in Odessa, Texas, Americans are calling for action to be taken to stem the epidemic. Among the calls to action are universal background checks, which would close federal loopholes and require background checks for private sales. While many states have laws requiring background checks for private transactions, they aren't required under federal law.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) wants to keep it that way. His state, which has had at least two mass shootings in 30 days, loosened gun laws the day after the Odessa shooting.

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) listens as she meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in her office in the U.S. Capitol, on April 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. In commemoration of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance’s 70-year anniversary, Stoltenberg will address a joint session of Congress ahead of a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to address issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. The law was expanded in 2000, expanded again in 2005 and was reauthorized about every five years since.

This year, the Act again faced reauthorization and adjustments to meet current needs. With the statistics supporting a continuing need for VAWA—especially in marginalized communities—and women comprising over half of the population, most would think reauthorization would be assured.

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