Season 1
Episode 4

Domestic violence affects one out of every four women in this country. It is deadly not only for those who are abused but also for law enforcement called to intervene — and that’s thanks mostly to guns. If we took guns away from people who have a history of domestic violence, we could make a big dent in gun deaths.

So why haven’t we done it? Scroll down to dive in.

This is a question of... closet space?

Changing our society's handling of domestic violence is obviously a long-term project, but on a very practical, immediate level, why aren't we taking guns away from people who've already been prosecuted for DV or have a restraining order against them? Kinda seems like a no-brainer, given that THERE IS ALREADY A LAW ABOUT THIS VERY THING.

There is no single answer to this question, but suffice it to say that within the world of law enforcement there are an assortment of obstacles (and sometimes excuses) that keep police officers from stepping in to take people's guns away. It can come down to an individual officer's philosophical beliefs or departments being more focused on handling existing problems than preventing future crimes. But it's also often logistical concerns. There isn't always clear guidance given to police.

And then sometimes it's a concern about storage space. Yes, we are serious. Police departments have actually objected to the idea of confiscating guns from DV offenders by saying they don't know where to store them. The answer is that you can store them in the very same evidence locker you store them after they've been used to commit a murder. Dark, but true.

They let him leave with the firearm in his truck. Yeah, [the police officer] told me she couldn't get it. It was a gray area. He shot me with it. Five days later. He ambushed me. He was hiding on the side of the house with a gun holster, a Smith and Wesson nine-millimeter and an extra box of ammunition.

Janet Paulsen