McNamara: Working for victims of domestic violence

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Friday, February 10, 2017

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, victims are killed or severely injured on a daily basis due to the combination of guns and domestic violence. An astounding number of women are killed by their abusers, and guns are the most commonly used weapon in domestic violence homicides. When abusers have access to firearms, victims’ lives are at risk. That’s why I am working on a new law that would require those placed under order of protections to surrender their firearms and ammunition within 48 hours.

Access to firearms yields a more than 500 percent increase in risk of intimate partner homicide when considering other factors of abuse, as reported by National Network to End Domestic Violence. It is imperative we protect those who have found themselves in a situation that requires an order of protection from someone who has done them harm.

According to the FBI, there were 270 domestic violence homicides in Indiana from 2003 to 2012, and of those homicides, more than half of the victims were killed with guns. If there is an order of protection out, then my proposal would require a court to prohibit a person who is the subject of that order from using or possessing firearms or ammunition. The court would be required to order the surrender of firearms and ammunition owned or possessed by the subject of the order of protection. Once the order of protection is lifted, those who have surrendered their firearms would receive them back.

Currently, Indiana law authorizes courts to issue protective orders that specifically direct an abuser to surrender to law enforcement all firearms and ammunition, but does not require it. By adding a provision that would require the courts to have those subjects of an order of protection surrender their firearms within 48 hours, we can potentially reduce the amount of domestic violence related homicides in the state.

As I continue to work on this proposal on behalf of our community, please contact me with any questions or input at 317-232-9816 or h76@iga.in.gov. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h76.

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State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

A high-resolution photo of McNamara can be downloaded by clicking here.