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In one of four mass shootings between 20 in which the shooter killed a current or former intimate partner, the shooter and victim had never been married or had a child—a group that likely involved many dating partners who never lived together, and therefore would not be prohibited by the federal gun laws.
Armed stalkers also pose a significant threat to women; one study of incidents in ten major U. cities found that nearly 9 in 10 attempted murders of women involved at least one incident of stalking in the year before the attempted murder.
Like many women who suffer domestic abuse, Zina Daniel had endured years of escalating attacks by her husband and finally sought a restraining order.
In just the first half of 2014, for example, bipartisan coalitions of legislators passed bills in Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Washington State that prohibit domestic abusers from purchasing guns. The law defines “intimate partner” to cover spouses and former spouses, someone who lives with or has lived with the abuser, or someone who is the parent of a child of the abuser. Another nine states expressly authorize—but do not require—courts to include firearm prohibitions in restraining orders. Convictions for domestic violence misdemeanors are the third leading basis for dealers to deny gun sales after running a NICS check—trailing only felony convictions and arrest warrants—and overall, it is estimated that approximately 300,000 gun sales have been blocked because the would-be purchaser had an MCDV conviction or was subject to a prohibiting domestic violence restraining order. Department of Justice, FBI, NICS Denials: Reasons Why the NICS Section Denies, Nov. Thus, the background check system has likely issued close to 300,000 denials due to domestic violence-related criteria since its inception.In theory, these laws are designed to protect women in Zina’s circumstances, by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Koziol-Mc Lain, et al., Risk factors for femicide within physically abuse intimate relationships: results from a multi-state case control study, 93 Amer. More than half of women murdered with guns in the U. in 2011 — at least 53 percent — were killed by intimate partners or family members. According to FBI data there were 1,221 gun murders in which a woman was the lead victim.But in practice, the laws are poorly defined and poorly enforced, and the results are as predictable as they are devastating. Of these, 649 were killed by an intimate partner or immediate family member — 53% of the total.Prohibitions on Gun Possession by Domestic Abusers and Stalkers Various federal and state laws currently seek to prohibit domestic violence offenders from buying or possessing guns. In 1996, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced an amendment to the federal appropriations bill to extend the prohibition against gun ownership to those convicted of a domestic abuse misdemeanor. 2001) (holding that the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant had validly waived his right to counsel prior to pleading guilty to an underlying misdemeanor domestic violence charge). And in 2014, the Court recognized that a misdemeanor conviction for domestic abuse that involves physical force against the victim qualifies as an MCDV even if the crime in question did not involve especially “strong” or “violent” force.