New Report on Removing Firearms from Domestic Abusers

Landmark Report Contains Best Practices for Firearm Removal from Domestic Abusers

Firearms Removal PresserOn February 17, 2016, the Consortium for Risk Based Firearm Policy and Prosecutors Against Gun Violence (PAGV) released a new report titled, “Firearm Removal/Retrieval in Cases of Domestic Violence.” The report provides a comprehensive overview of best practices for firearm removal in cases of domestic violence. Kelly Roskam, legal counsel for the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund), had a leading role in developing and writing the report.

The purpose of the report is to recommend policies and practices to reduce gun violence perpetrated by domestic abusers, including individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders. The removal process is broken down into six components:

    • Authority to remove/retrieve.
    • Identifying abusers with firearms.
    • Notifying abusers about their status as prohibited possessors of firearms.
    • Removal/retrieval of firearms from abusers.
    • Storage or sale of retrieved firearms.
    • Return of firearms when a protective order expires

 

The report makes the following key recommendations:

    • Prioritize service of protective orders to armed respondents in cases of civil domestic violence protective orders.
    • Authorize law enforcement to remove guns from prohibited abusers, and if that removal is unsuccessful, allow the court to issue a search warrant to complete the removal.
    • Identify or build structures that prevent damage to stored firearms removed from prohibited abusers.
    • Provide law enforcement with immunity from civil liability when they retrieve firearms.
    • Require a background check as a condition of returning firearms to a prohibited abuser.
    • Enact a policy to allow unclaimed firearms to be sold or destroyed.
    • In civil protective order cases, require law enforcement to notify petitioners or victims when firearms have been returned to the abuser/defendant.
    • Collect data at each stage of the firearm removal process.

 

The “Firearm Removal/Retrieval in Cases of Domestic Violence” can be read here.

To read PAGV’s press release on the report, click here.