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States with gun surrender laws have lower rates of homicide

California is one of the 14 states with laws that require people who are the subject of domestic violence restraining orders to turn in their guns. A study has shown that the rates of intimate-partner homicides are lower in those states than in the states that do not have such laws. About half of the victims of intimate-partner homicide, who are overwhelmingly female, are killed with firearms.

So far in 2017, more than 380 people have been killed in domestic violence-related shootings that were perpetrated by their intimate partners. Some states have passed measures that try to prevent access to firearms for those who have been labeled as domestic violence offenders. These measures usually require individuals who have domestic violence restraining orders against them to surrender their firearms and give law enforcement agencies the authority to seize firearms.

According to the study, the states that have gun-surrender laws had intimate-partner homicide rates that were 9.7 percent lower than in the states that did not have gun-surrender laws. Firearm-specific homicide rates were lower by 14 percent in states that had gun-surrender laws. California, which passed restraining order surrender laws in 2000, had intimate-partner homicide rates that were 3.4 percent lower than the national average. New Hampshire, which also passed restraining order surrender laws in 2000, has rates that were 33.9 percent lower than the national average.

In situations in which domestic violence is present, a person's life is potentially at risk especially if the partner involved is abusive or violent. Those who fear physical harm may wish to get a restraining order against their abusive partner to protect themselves. A family law attorney can help a person seek a temporary restraining order for immediate safety while gathering the evidence needed to seek a permanent restraining order.

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