New Effort Targets Gun Violence in Domestic Cases

Monday, 18 Mar 2013 02:35 PM

By Cyrus Afzali

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As part of new gun control legislation, a renewed effort is being made across the country to ensure that individuals under court order in domestic violence cases must surrender their firearms.

The New York Times reported Monday that while the National Rifle Association has historically helped defeat legislation mandating the surrender of guns in domestic violence situations, the massacre in Newtown, Conn. in December has spurred a push once again to make it standard procedure.

The new effort is backed by statistics showing that when women are killed by a husband or boyfriend, more often than not, the killing is committed using a gun.

Federal statistics, the Times noted, shows that intimate partner homicides account for almost half of women killed every year and more than half of those homicides involve a firearm.

The data also shows that a significant number of those deaths generally involve women who obtained protection orders against their eventual killers.

In response to concerns about gun violence in domestic disturbances, a federal law was passed in 1994 prohibiting anyone served with a protective court order from purchasing or possessing a weapon. But the law excluded most people under temporary orders because they had not yet had an opportunity to contest the accusations in court.

Today, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are among only a few states that require guns to be taken away under a temporary order. But the laws vary in other states, with some requiring surrender only under certain circumstances, or not at all short of felony conviction.

The Times also noted that some states still leave it up to the discretion of the judge in a domestic case to determine whether guns should be confiscated.


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