EGGMAN ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS FROM GUN VIOLENCE
Thursday, August 29, 2019
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D – Stockton) announced legislation today to ensure the relinquishment of weapons by individuals currently prohibited from possessing firearms. Assembly Bill 465 would strengthen and clarify the court process for firearm relinquishment for those who, under current law, should not have guns because they have a domestic violence restraining order against them.
The presence of a firearm in the home during an incident of domestic violence increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%. In fact, over half of female victims of domestic violence homicide in the United States are killed with a firearm. Additionally, every month an average of 52 women are shot and killed in the United States by an intimate partner.
“Nearly 1 million women are alive today in the United States who were shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner, and there is much more that we can do to protect our families, law enforcement, and the general public from gun violence,” Eggman said. “AB 465 strengthens existing law to better identify whether subjects of domestic violence restraining orders possess firearms and to increase the relinquishment of those weapons.”
"We know that often the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when the victim changes the power control dynamic by taking some step toward leaving the relationship. Seeking a protective order often incites a strong retaliation by the abuser,” said Beth Hasset, Executive Director & CEO of WEAVE, Inc. “We also know that the presence of a firearm in these circumstances exponentially increases the lethality of the situation. This legislation is an important step toward removing firearms from dangerous persons at the earliest possible point and will help save the lives of victims, increase the safety of their children and families, and protect our communities from those who do harm."
This bill would codify two existing California Rules of Court that establish a judicial oversight process for courts to ensure that firearm relinquishment in domestic violence restraining order cases actually takes place. It would also harmonize those rules with one another to ensure consistency in their application across all 58 jurisdictions in California.
“Gun violence and acts of domestic violence affect every community and remain a daily threat to our citizens who rely on law enforcement, the Courts, and others to provide them with a safe environment and do everything in their power to protect them from harm,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “This bill will provide another resource to protect our families and the community from further acts of violence.”
"Too often, violent abusers who become subject to protective and restraining orders illegally keep guns and use them to threaten, terrorize, maim, or murder their family members, law enforcement officers, or others in their community,” said Ari Freilich, California Legislative Affairs Director, Giffords Law Center. “This bill will make Californians safer by codifying best practices and ensuring that courts and law enforcement consistently verify that domestic abusers are actually disarmed under the laws of our state. We believe this policy will save lives and encourage the Legislature to pass it into law."
Contact: David Stammerjohan