Are Temporary Restraining Orders More Likely to Be Issued When Applications Mention Firearms?

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Are Temporary Restraining Orders More Likely to Be Issued When Applications Mention Firearms?

Category: Domestic Violence, Firearm Policies|Journal: Evaluation Review (full text)|Author: K Vittes, S Sorenson|Year: 2006

Restraining orders, an important legal intervention for victims of domestic violence, have broad potential for injury prevention. Using data from one of the busiest restraining order clinics in the nation, the authors examined 1,354 applicants’ descriptions of abuse. Most (89.2%) applicants were issued a restraining order. A total of 16.0% of applicants mentioned a firearm in their descriptions of abuse; doing so was not associated with restraining order issuance. About 1 in 20 applicants, even if issued a restraining order, would not be protected by the federal firearm purchase and possession prohibitions because they had not lived with or had a child with the defendant. However, the proportion of these individuals who report threatened or actual use of firearms against them is similar to that of other applicants. Federal and, when relevant, state law should be modified to include these persons.

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