It has been clear since the earliest days of the coronavirus crisis that the pandemic and the resulting economic and social challenges are exacerbating the threat of gun violence. In particular, the risk of firearm suicide and domestic violence is heightened as economic hardship weighs on individuals and families, routines are disrupted, survivors are cut off from normal support networks, and gun sales surge.
With these immense challenges in mind, the Alliance hosted our first-ever virtual summit on protection orders and firearms. Summits, which bring together national and local subject matter experts to discuss the intersection of gun violence and a number of research and advocacy issues, are a key piece of our education work. This was the fourth summit the Alliance held on protection orders and firearms, but the first with a national audience.
The summit was designed specifically for practitioners and went in-depth on firearm surrender orders, domestic violence protection orders, and Extreme Risk Protection Orders. It also featured a panel on centering equity in the protection order outreach and implementation process. The audience heard from experts who work on the ground implementing these orders in Seattle and King County, Washington. Below is a breakdown of the panels and panelists:
King County Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit Implementation Model, Domestic Violence Protection Orders:
- Sandra Shanahan
- David Martin
- Sergeant Dorothy Kim
- Theresa Phillips
King County Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit Implementation Model, Extreme Risk Protection Orders:
- Kim Wyatt
- Sergeant Eric Pisconski
Equity in the Outreach and Implementation of Protection Orders:
- Moderator: Regina Malveaux
- Alyssa Shaw, MSW
- Dr. Shannon Frattaroli
- Dr. Carolyn West
To close out the day, participants broke out into small groups by jurisdiction and worked together to discuss barriers to enforcing firearm surrender orders and protection orders and to identify high-impact changes that could be completed in the short term. A special thank you to Sergeant Jordan Ferguson from the Spokane Police Dept. and Chris Anderson with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for facilitating such productive conversations!
A huge thank you to all of our speakers and attendees for sharing their expertise, their insight, and for dedicating time to this critical work.