How to prevent dating violence

State laws that restrict access to firearms by a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order are associated with a significant reduction in the number of intimate partner homicides.One study found that such laws are associated with a 19% reduction in the risk of intimate partner homicides.

The strongest laws prohibit purchase or possession of firearms by individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors generally, regardless of the victim’s relationship to the offender.

The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (the “2005 VAWA”) required states and local governments, as a condition of certain funding, to certify that their judicial administrative policies and practices included notification to domestic violence offenders of both of the federal firearm prohibitions mentioned above and any applicable related federal, state, or local laws.

The 2005 VAWA did not require states or local governments to establish a procedure for the surrender of firearms by abusers, however.

Similarly, a poll published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2013 found that 80.8% of people surveyed, including 75.6% of gun-owners, support prohibiting gun ownership for 10 years after a person has been convicted of violating a domestic violence restraining order; the same survey found that 73.7% of gun owners and 72.4% of non-gun owners support prohibiting gun ownership for 10 years after a person is convicted of domestic violence.

Federal law prohibits purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who have been convicted in any court of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” and/or who are subject to certain domestic violence protective orders.

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