Disarming Domestic Abusers

50 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019 Last revised: 24 Feb 2021

See all articles by Natalie Nanasi

Natalie Nanasi

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: February 21, 2019


Guns and domestic violence are a deadly combination. Every sixteen hours, a woman is fatally shot by her intimate partner in the United States; the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent.

Recognizing these risks, federal law and some states prohibit domestic abusers from possessing firearms. But these laws are not being enforced. Perpetrators of domestic violence are rarely ordered to surrender firearms, and even when they are, there are often no mechanisms to ensure that weapons are safely relinquished.

This Article proposes strategies to disarm domestic abusers, proceeding in three parts. First, it describes legislation that would prohibit perpetrators of intimate partner violence from owning or possessing firearms. Next, it explains the mechanisms required to implement that legislation. Finally, it recommends litigation strategies to ensure meaningful enforcement. Only all three, working in together, have the potential to prevent the gun-related deaths of intimate partners.

Suggested Citation

Nanasi, Natalie, Disarming Domestic Abusers (February 21, 2019). SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 416 , Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol. 14, 559, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3339061 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3339061

Natalie Nanasi (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

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