Does having a gun in the home keep you safer? For victims of domestic violence, the answer is a resounding no.
Domestic violence abusers can use to firearms threaten, endanger, and intimidate their victims in order to exercise power and control. In a recent survey of callers to the National Domestic Violence Hotline[i]:
- 16% of the callers said their partners had access to guns, 22% of whom had threatened to use the firearm to kill the victim or her family or to kill themselves.
- 10% said their partner had actually fired the gun in an argument.
- 67% of the callers believed their partner was capable of killing them.
Last year, 158 women were killed by a male intimate partner, 97 of them with a firearm.
Under state and federal law, felons, respondents to protective orders, and convicted family violence abusers cannot possess firearms. Texas law allows the local criminal justice community to come together to implement firearm surrender protocols, however only a few have done so.
Survivors, along with nearly 80% of Texans, support requiring domestic violence abusers to surrender their firearms.[ii]
Key jurisdictions have adopted firearm surrender protocols. For instance, Dallas County Judge Roberto Cañas led the development and implementation of a system in his jurisdiction tailored to work in that community. Bexar, El Paso and Travis Counties have also taken on similar bold efforts.
TCFV works with communities to develop policies that keep survivors safe and hold offenders accountable. We provide education and support for cities and towns dedicated to disarming domestic violence abusers.
Your support can help implement solutions that offer real world answers to lethal family violence. Sign the Purple Postcard to tell our legislators that you support full funding for domestic violence services.
[i] National Domestic Violence Hotline, “Firearms and Domestic Violence,” http://www.thehotline.org/resources/firearms-dv/(2014).
[ii] Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, “Texans Support Stronger Laws to Prevent Gun Violence (May 31, 2014).