Missouri domestic violence victims’ advocates are praising a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that guns can be taken from abusers. Now they hope Missouri will enact a similar provision.
The Court voted 6-2 to uphold a federal law that denies guns to those who commit violence against family members. Coleen Coble with the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said the decision is significant.
“Especially in the state of Missouri where we do not have any state statutes that restrict domestic violence offenders from ownership or possession of firearms. We rely solely on the federal law,” said Coble.
She said repeated studies have shown how important that law is.
“For a domestic violence victim the presence of a firearm in their home increases the likelihood of their death by five times,” said Coble. “Having the high court affirm that it is sound public policy to remove firearms from the hands of abusers who’ve already harmed their family is strong public policy, and it gives us a foundation to build on in Missouri.”
Coble says it’s a problem for Missouri victims that the state doesn’t have a law mirroring this federal law.
“The only mechanism for enforcement of the domestic violence offender gun possession laws is to go to a federal law enforcement officer, have a charge filed by a U.S. Attorney’s office, and have the case go before a federal court, and that is neither pragmatic or responsive to the needs of Missourians,” said Coble.
Coble says no bill to create such a law in Missouri has ever gotten past a legislative committee hearing.