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Guns and Domestic Violence


Power and control: that’s what domestic violence (DV) is all about. When an intimate partner engages in intimidation, manipulation, emotional or physical harm, financial domination, or other methods of domineering, it is domestic violence. It occurs across all ages, socioeconomic groups, genders, races, gender identities, and ethnicities, and hurts individuals, families, and society at large. Things get substantially worse when guns are involved.

Guns Increase Serious Outcomes in DV Cases 

Clearly, when a gun is part of the equation, the potential for danger skyrockets, with death a real possibility for the victim, third parties, and even the perpetrator. Here’s what we know:

  • In a domestic violence situation, the chance of a fatality occurring is five times greater when a firearm is present compared to when one is not.
  • Roughly 70 women are murdered by an intimate partner with a gun every month.
  • Between four and five million women have been threatened with gun violence by an intimate partner, and almost one million have actually been shot.
  • When guns are involved in domestic violence situations, the chances of a third party being killed is more than 30 percent higher than of being killed by a stranger.
  • Over half of all women killed by an intimate partner are killed with a firearm.
  • Intimate partner homicides involving guns are rising every year.
  • America is the most dangerous of all wealthy countries for women when it comes to gun violence among intimate partners, with over 90 percent of murders in these situations happening here.
  • Two-thirds of teens and children killed in shootings involving 4+ victims were killed in domestic violence incidents.

Federal Law 

Currently individuals who have domestic violence histories are prohibited from owning guns under certain circumstances:

  • If they have been restricted from being around someone after a full domestic violence hearing results in a restraining order;
  • If they have been convicted of domestic violence.

When Guns are Not Restricted

While these restrictions are important, and appear to be on track to remain for the foreseeable future, there are certainly situations that are not included in these restrictions:

  • When dating partners have never cohabitated and do not have a child together;
  • When the perpetrator has been convicted of misdemeanor stalking;
  • When a temporary restraining order has been obtained, but the full hearing has not yet occurred.

Safety First 

If  you are a victim of domestic violence, you must understand the potential for danger to you and others if the perpetrator has access to a firearm. Don’t take a chance with your life or the lives of those you love.  At the Law Office of Julia Kefalinos, our dedicated Miami domestic violence attorneys understand the need for stealth and confidentiality in these situations.  Contact our Miami office for a confidential consultation today.

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