Building a Comprehensive Plan to Preventing Domestic Violence Firearm Homicide

Preventing domestic violence-related firearm homicides and injuries requires a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary approach by professionals implementing and enforcing laws at the local, state, Tribal and federal levels. The Safer Families, Safer Communities project has identified 5 key areas or Community Strategies where civil and criminal legal systems can collaborate to save lives by adopting proactive and improved responses to gun-related domestic violence and reducing violent offenders’ access to guns and ammunition.

  • Criminal Strategies

    The criminal legal system provides a forum for determining criminal liability for allegations of domestic violence. The court is in a position to determine the defendant’s eligibility to possess firearms, and to order surrender of firearms if appropriate.

  • Civil Strategies

    The civil legal system determines the need for orders protecting domestic violence survivors. The court is therefore in a position to order surrender of guns as a consequence of this determination. The civil legal system thereby affords the offender due process of law.

  • Federal Strategies

    All levels of local/state/Tribal/federal governments work jointly to make sure that federal firearm prohibitions are enforced to disarm and prosecute abusers, especially where state or Tribal laws are lacking.

  • Purchase Prevention

    All systems work together to prevent purchase of firearms by perpetrators who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms by making sure that information about criminal history and protection orders is readily available to those responsible for conducting criminal background checks.