The role of firearms in domestic violence and stalking cases is enormous and beyond controversy. Firearms are frequently used in the intimate partner setting to threaten and control women and children, and are strongly associated with lethality in the domestic violence context.
Research demonstrates that firearms are used to commit the vast majority of homicides against women, and that the majority of these homicides are committed by an intimate partner (Violence Policy Center, 2012). In fact, a gun in a violent home increases the likelihood that a domestic violence-related incident will result in death (The John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, 2009). Because the presence of firearms is the most significant homicide risk factor for these cases, disarming offenders, or preventing unlawful access to guns, is a major step toward homicide prevention.
In recognition of the aggravating role firearms play in domestic violence incidents, Congress passed several laws that restrict domestic violence offenders’ access to and use of firearms. States have also enacted firearm restrictions that apply in domestic violence-related cases. BWJP, through its Enforcing Domestic Violence Firearms Prohibitions Technical Assistance Project and its National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit, provides individuals and organizations with resources related to firearms law, and technical assistance on implementing and enforcing existing firearm prohibitions at the local, state, national and tribal levels.