In 2022, more than seventy percent of domestic violence victims were killed by a firearm. Texas should ensure domestic abusers prohibited from possessing firearms by law do not have access to them. A comprehensive statewide protocol for the relinquishment of firearms would make our existing laws more effective and prevent domestic homicides.
Firearms increase the chances that an intimate partner will be murdered. In fact, the presence of a gun in an abusive situation makes a woman 5 times more likely to be murdered. In 2022, more Texas women were killed by a partner or former partner with a firearm than by all other means of murder combined, contributing to 75% of all intimate partner homicides in the state.
In a study of intimate partner homicides in Harris County, 35 of 46 were committed with a firearm. Twelve of those 35 offenders were prohibited possessors under Texas state law, and 14 of those 35 offenders were prohibited possessors under federal law.
Nationwide, domestic violence convictions are the fourth-most frequent reason for denials of an application to purchase a firearm.
Loopholes in federal and state law leave guns in the hands of abusive partners and stalkers, often with deadly results. In addition, few counties and courts in Texas have firearm transfer processes and protocols in place, so oftentimes perpetrators remain in possession of weapons they are legally prohibited from owning.