NNEDV Welcomes Executive Action on Gun Violence
January 5, 2016
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) commends President Obama today for his leadership in addressing the epidemic of gun violence, as he takes the action that we have long asked Congress to take: make women and families safer in their own homes.
The deadly intersection of firearms and domestic violence is clear and well-documented. Abusers use firearms as their primary weapon of choice in domestic violence homicides and when abusers have access to firearms both women’s lives and women’s safety are in danger. The presence of a gun in cases of domestic violence increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. It is a tragic fact that between 2001 and 2012, more women were murdered by an intimate partner in the United States than the total number of American troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
“This is a national shame – something that should spur our Congress to take additional action that specifically addresses the intersection of domestic violence and firearms,” said Ron LeGrand, Vice President of Public Policy at NNEDV. “We applaud the President’s actions today that will undoubtedly save lives and ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence by keeping guns out of the hands of their abusive partners.”
The current background check system leaves fatal gaps and an overhaul is long overdue. Incentivizing states to make as many relevant records as possible available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and keeping guns out of the hands of those with criminal convictions, those adjudicated mentally ill, and those with qualifying crimes of domestic violence will go a long way toward reducing abusers’ access to firearms. These modifications do not infringe on the Second Amendment rights of those who may legally possess firearms and will make communities safer. In fact, in states that require a background check for every gun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners.
To prevent fatal violence against women, our nation needs to ensure communities have the resources to help victims of domestic abuse. We must do everything we can at both the state and federal levels to ensure abusers do not have access to guns. NNEDV shares the President’s vision of safety for all, without infringing on Constitutional rights.