Gun surrender laws may reduce domestic violence death rates

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2017 | Domestic Violence

States that have gun-surrender laws for those who commit acts of domestic violence generally have lower fatality rates related to domestic violence. This was the conclusion of a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Overall, the states that had such restrictions had 9.7 percent fewer homicides caused by intimate partners. In Minnesota and throughout the country, domestic violence victims tend to be female, but members of either gender can be victims.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been over 380 deaths caused by a partner so far in 2017. Researchers caution that a lack of data may skew the study’s results. They point out that only laws specifically requiring those who commit domestic violence to give up their guns or those that allow police to confiscate guns have any statistically significant impact.

It may also be worth pointing out that laws are only effective when enforced properly. For instance, in Dallas County, there were 60 guns confiscated over a two-year period when it was expected that 600 or more would have been taken away. New Hampshire and Maryland had the biggest drop in domestic violence deaths compared to the national average. New Hampshire came in a 33.9 percent below average while Maryland came in at 23.6 percent below the national rate.

To protect an individual from a potentially abusive partner, it may be possible to get an order for protection. This may require a spouse or partner to stay a certain distance from the victim as well as cease other types of contact. A victim may be able to ask for help from an attorney to get such an order. In most cases, a temporary order is granted until a hearing can be held to determine if a permanent order is necessary.