Domestic Violence & Firearms: June 19, 2018

As part of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation’s ongoing educational efforts, we host bi-annual summits that address the intersection of gun violence and other key public health and public safety issues. The summits bring together local and national subject matter experts and advocates to share information, resources, and best practices for gun violence prevention.

On June 19, 2018 we hosted our first summit addressing the deadly intersection of gun violence and domestic violence. This summit, held at the TAF Bethaday Community Learning Space, brought together law enforcement, advocates, and other stakeholders from across King County to discuss the tools available in Washington state to keep guns out of domestic violence situations.

David Keck of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms with the Battered Women’s Justice Project was our keynote speaker. He spoke about what Washington can learn from Wisconsin’s SAFE Act, which ensures individuals subject to domestic violence protection orders do not have access to firearms.

Participants were also walked through each step of a firearm purchase, looking at the applicable federal laws and then at the relevant state laws. These presentations, given by Ye-Ting Woo, Assistant US Attorney with the US Attorney’s Office, Cori Baker from the Clyde Hill Police Department, and Rana Hoover from the Issaquah Police Department drew attention to the areas where Washington state firearm laws differ from federal law.

Representatives from the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit (RDVFEU) gave an in-depth look at the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence in Seattle and King County. Their presentation highlighted the deadly link between access to a firearm and domestic violence homicide and detailed the unit’s work to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

Finally, two break out sessions led by King County Prosecutor Kim Wyatt and Sergeant Eric Pisconski, both members of the RDVFEU, led a deep dive into the implementation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

Full video of the event is available here.

We know that one of the surest ways to reduce gun deaths is to disarm domestic violence. We’re proud that Washington state has taken action to address this deadly intersection and that King County has led the way in ensuring those lifesaving measures are effectively implemented.