Lafourche Parish, located at the southern end of Louisiana, has about 100,000 residents, a robust agricultural and oil economy, and a reputation for a strong stance against domestic violence. The social services division of the Sheriff’s Office in Lafourche, led by Lt. Valerie Martinez-Jordan, has been taking formal steps to keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited possessors since 2009. At that time, Louisiana didn’t even have a state surrender law applicable in domestic violence cases. Relying instead on the federal firearm prohibitions applicable in domestic violence cases (18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(8) and (g)(9)), the Lafourche Sheriff’s department formed an alliance with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to remove guns from those prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law. The ATF provided training and education to local law enforcement about the level of evidence that would be required to support a federal prosecution, as this was distinct from the evidentiary thresholds with which local law enforcement were accustomed. Then, in 2010, the Lafourche Sheriff’s Office began sending letters to convicted domestic abusers and those subject to protection orders explaining that they could no longer possess a firearm under federal law, placing individuals on formal notice. Ultimately, the activities under this partnership has resulted in at least 10 federal indictments of prohibited possessors.

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