Washington, D.C. — As the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary holds a landmark hearing today on the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence, the Center for American Progress and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released fact sheets for 27 states providing detailed information about the scope of fatal domestic violence and the large role access to guns plays in that violence in each state. In many cases, the fact sheets highlight significant weaknesses and loopholes in state laws that continue to allow dangerous domestic abusers and stalkers to have easy access to guns.
Among the states with the highest numbers of domestic violence homicides are:
Arizona, where 41 percent of homicides are committed in a domestic violence context and 60 percent of those murders involve a gun, according to the statewide domestic violence fatality review board
Maine, where 46 percent of homicides involve domestic violence and 57 percent of those murders were committed with a gun
New Hampshire, where 50 percent of murders were related to domestic violence and 48 percent were committed with a gun
“More often than not, fatal domestic abuse involves a gun,” said Arkadi Gerney, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “These deeply intertwined challenges are made all the more dangerous by lax federal and state laws that allow dangerous abusers and stalkers to have easy access to guns. Today’s hearing is a milestone in the fight to improve protections to ensure that all women are kept safe from domestic abusers and stalkers who should never be able to get their hands on a firearm.”
“When it’s five times more likely that a woman will be killed by her abuser when he owns a gun, we know that guns make a domestic violence situation deadly,” said Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “As a nation, we are failing to protect women from domestic abusers and stalkers by not closing these dangerous loopholes in our federal and state laws. The American public and legislators nationwide need to understand the facts on the lethal combination of guns and domestic abuse, and support these commonsense solutions to save women’s lives.”
The 27 fact sheets describe the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Last month, CAP released a first of its kind report analyzing the connection between gun violence and domestic and intimate partner violence, and the failure of states and the federal government to take steps to curb firearm assaults within the existing legal framework.