Disarming Domestic Violence: The Impact of Federal Loopholes on Abuse Victims | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Disarming Domestic Violence: The Impact of Federal Loopholes on Abuse Victims

Brady Releases New Report on The Impact of Firearms on Domestic Violence

47% Fewer women are shot by intimate partners in states with expanded background checks

This year alone, more than 500 people have been killed during a domestic violence incident involving a gun. In one of the most deadly examples, an estranged husband with a history of violence opened fire on his soon-to-be ex-wife and the friends she had gathered on a Sunday to watch football. The rampage left a total of eight people dead. Even more tragic is that these stories are not unique. A woman is shot and killed by a current or former partner every 16 hours. If a gun is present in the home when a domestic violence incident takes place, the risk of homicide increases by 500%. Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun compared to their counterparts in other high-income nations.

The Brady Center's new report "Disarming Domestic Violence: The Impact of Federal Loopholes on Abuse Victims" shines a light on what happens when guns end up in the hands of domestic abusers and how we can all work together to prevent more lives being lost to firearm deaths. The report provides up to date statistics, stories, and facts as it examines the real and tragic consequences of loopholes in the federal background check system.

While the Brady background check system has succeeded in preventing over 3 million potentially dangerous gun sales, there are still too many individuals who have been able to use a firearm to intimidate, threaten, injure, or kill. Closing these loopholes, including the exception that allows private sellers to complete gun sales without performing a Brady background check, and those that allow certain individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or stalking to purchase firearms due to the nature of their relationship with the person they abused, will prevent more lives from being lost.

In the absence of meaningful federal legislation, advocates in certain states have succeeded in passing measures that have extended background checks to at least some private sales, closed the "boyfriend" loophole, and enact "Extreme Risk Protective Orders" to help protect abuse victims. However, as long as a patchwork of laws still exists, lives will be at risk everywhere.