Prosecutor group advocates stricter laws, more gun surrenders

Prosecutors Against Gun Violence on Wednesday released what they term as a “roadmap” to reduce the use of firearms in domestic abuse incidents.

Founded in 2014 by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, PAGV promises to advance “prosecutorial and policy solutions to the national public health and safety crisis of gun violence” and consists of 34 leading prosecutors from every region of the country.

The group released a 152-page report this week focusing on the dangers posed by guns in domestic violence incidents, calling for increased gun surrender mandates and policies at all levels.

“When an abusive partner is permitted access to firearms, the risk that the other partner – usually a woman – will be killed increases more than fivefold,” said Vance in a statement emailed to “Restricting abusers’ access to firearms is a proven and effective means to reduce domestic violence homicides. Today’s report shines a light on local successes and dangerous gaps in the law.”

Among the more striking proposals in the report is that federal law should be changed to prohibit gun possession or purchase by those under temporary restraining orders. Currently, federal law prohibits purchase or possession from those with permanent orders or domestic violence convictions.

Going beyond that, the group urges prosecutors, law enforcement, and the courts to quickly identify individuals under such orders and move to have them turn over their guns as soon as possible. The group held up the current practice of the City of Los Angeles, which requires a defendant to surrender to law enforcement, lawfully transfer, or sell to a licensed gun dealer any firearm owned or possessed by them within 24 hours of service of a temporary order being granted.

The report was penned by Kelly Roskam, legal counsel for the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the sister organization to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, both of which are helmed by Josh Horwitz as executive director.

“Making sure that firearms are removed from domestic abusers will go a long way towards reducing gun violence in America,” said Horwitz in a statement. “This report provides actionable steps so that judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers have the tools necessary to accomplish this important goal.”

Other gun control groups lent a hand to the finished product, with Julie Leftwich, the legal director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Ted Alcorn, the research director at Everytown for Gun Safety, acknowledged among others for their help in preparing the report.

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