One year following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and almost twenty years after the passage of the first federal firearm prohibitions in domestic violence cases, the U.S. Department of Justice has funded the first national technical assistance project on domestic violence and firearms.

The U.S. D.O.J.’s Office on Violence Against Women entered into a three-year cooperative agreement with the Battered Women’s Justice Project, and its partner, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, to develop a national technical assistance project, to provide individuals and communities the information, support and tools necessary for the effective implementation and enforcement of firearm prohibitions in domestic violence, dating violence and stalking cases.

This is one of BWJP’s newest technical assistance projects. A year ago, at the project’s inception, staff and partners convened a working Steering Committee to engage in a variety of activities intended to identify and develop model communities and individual leaders in this area. The Steering Committee has also been tasked with surveying the field to identify the primary technical assistance needs of local, state and tribal governments and courts. Additionally, the Steering Committee is developing issue-based and community-based Working Groups to develop more specialized technical assistance in particular areas of firearm enforcement, such as jurisdictional conflicts, research and evaluation, and data management.