While domestic violence charges should always be taken seriously, when firearms are involved, it ups the ante considerably — and for good reasons. Statistics indicate that there is a definite correlation between the the use of firearms in incidents of domestic violence and the likelihood of an intimate-partner homicide occurring.
It's a misconception to think that having access to firearms makes domestic violence victims safer. Simply having a gun in the home makes it more dangerous for abused women, as the presence of a firearm in the home increases the likelihood of the woman being killed by six-fold. According to Washington, D.C.'s Violence Policy Center, for each time women used handguns to kill their intimate partners in self-defense, 83 females died from handguns in intimate-partner homicides.
The numbers don't lie
To wit, consider some of the following facts:
- More than two-thirds of victims who were killed by spouses or exes in one 38-year period died from gunshots.
- Guns are the weapon of choice in most domestic violence homicides.
- In a single year, guns were used in over half the cases of male-on-female homicides.
- Among women killed by firearms, 73 percent died from being shot by handguns.
- Almost two-thirds of the women who died from gunshots were killed by their male intimate partners.
As it stands, women are much likelier to be killed by gunfire than to use firearms to defend themselves against their abusers. In a single four-year span targeted by researchers, victims of crimes used firearms to protect themselves in less than 1 percent of the incidents.
Law errs on the side of caution
Given all of these worrying factors, it's perhaps understandable why the law has begun taking such a harsh stance against those accused of domestic violence. But it can make it more challenging to avoid a conviction on the charges, as well.
Those who have been accused of domestic violence against their spouses or partners face the real possibility of losing their Second Amendment rights if convicted of the charges. This makes it especially important to vigorously defend against the allegations.
It's easy to forget that allegations are just that — something that you are accused of doing. It still must be proven in court.