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Now, one of the things we have to do is keep firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. -- David Keene
Last week, I wrote about the NRA taking the side of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill, putting the lie to this gun enthusiast notion that we just need to keep guns away from criminals. The NRA works to stop us from confiscating the weapons of gun owners who have forfeited that right via felony crimes and the like.

So, when a domestic abuser threatens to put a gun in his ex-wife's mouth and pull the trigger, what should happen to his guns? Take them away, or leave those weapons in the hands of the abuser? And which side does the NRA choose to take? Well, that last one's rhetorical...it should be an easy guess.

Yesterday, the New York Times published an extensive article on the subject. Guns facilitate the deaths of women by their intimate partners, as the NYT points out, and evidential support for this is not particularly hard to find. And Congress took action back in the 90's, with gun bans that are still on the books, surprisingly; the Times reports that the NRA fought the 1994 law and lost, but did win out on a loophole for people under temporary orders of protection.

Congress, recognizing the unique and deadly role firearms play in domestic violence passed the Protective Order Gun Ban in 1994. The law prohibits gun possession by a person against whom there is a restraining or protective order for domestic violence. In 1996, Congress passed the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Gun Ban, which prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or child abuse from purchasing or possessing a gun.
Such a prohibition does not actually remove the guns from a domestic abuser's hands, however. They may not be able to buy more (except through straw purchases or private sale loopholes, perhaps) but the additional step of confiscation requires more legislation. Congress' laws from the 90's enacted the prohibition, but it's almost never enforced, leaving it up to individual states to pick up the slack. And here, the NRA is caught working at the state level to stop this from happening.
In statehouses across the country, though, the N.R.A. and other gun-rights groups have beaten back legislation mandating the surrender of firearms in domestic violence situations. They argue that gun ownership, as a fundamental constitutional right, should not be stripped away for anything less serious than a felony conviction — and certainly not, as an N.R.A. lobbyist in Washington State put it to legislators, for the “mere issuance of court orders.”
The NYT's investigation supports the views of advocates for victims of domestic violence. These advocates contend the moment protection orders are issued can be the most dangerous time, when gun confiscation is most needed. And the Times found examples of this danger. Like the case from Washington state, the man who threatened to put a gun in his ex-wife's mouth -- hours after a temporary order of protection was issued, he laid in wait at her house with a rifle in hand, and nearly killed her. Or another fellow in Oklahoma, with an arsenal of weapons and a violent reaction to divorce papers; he caught up with his wife and murdered her, then killed himself.

Or a woman in Virginia who won a full protective order after her husband attacked her and was charged with assault. He was still permitted to keep his gun, and he murdered her. Then he went to her parents' house, evidently to kill them too, but had to settle for just killing himself. The Times quotes Marty Ridout, a partner at the accounting firm where this lady worked.

“It astounds me,” Mr. Ridout said. “I cannot believe we have a society where a person has physically abused another person and been charged with assaulting her and that they don’t automatically take away his weapon.”
But the NRA is relentless, ever willing to endanger our lives, and inflict suffering and death, for the sake of unfettered gun rights. The NYT documents attempts to pass new laws in Washington state, which failed; a recent victory over the the NRA in Colorado where not one Republican voted to require the surrender of firearms in protection order cases, and another failure to make change in Wisconsin. In this case, the goal was to require people subject to protection orders to list their guns and surrender them, and the NRA got it scuttled on 5th Amendment grounds.
The N.R.A. mobilized, calling the measure “a blatant violation of Americans’ Fifth Amendment rights” in an alert to its members. Jordan Austin, an N.R.A. lobbyist, expanded in his testimony on the bill before an Assembly committee: “Once a person has an injunction issued against him, he is already a prohibited person. He cannot, under the Fifth Amendment, be forced to disclose whether he is in possession of firearms, because that would be tantamount to forcing him to admit a crime.”
This logic seems to leave no way for society to identify a threat like a domestic abuser and then actually neutralize the threat. At what point do these rights yield in the face of preserving life? Do the rights of abusive gun owners trump the lives of the people they threaten? Well, we have the NRA's answer.

2:20 PM PT: http://www.dailykos.com/...

I keep checking while I'm writing in case I'm beaten to the punch, but this time I missed it...Meteor Blades wrote about this a little earlier today, and it's being front-paged now. The NYT wrote a fine in-depth story; glad to see it will get some attention.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  This was such a horrifying article to read. (16+ / 0-)

    The NRA is a morally repugnant organization and its reputation needs to sink below zero.

    Thanks for diarying this, tytalus.

    It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:44:45 PM PDT

  •  When YA_GO gets behind laws that will (7+ / 0-)

    actually take guns out of the hands of criminals and thugs, then they can have their R back.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:03:49 PM PDT

  •  The NRA does have a minor point (3+ / 0-)

    If being the subject of a protective order makes you unable to lawfully possess guns, what exactly are you supposed to do, load them up into your car and drive them to a police station?

    In order for such orders to be workable, there needs to be some sort of listed method for the owner of the guns to be able to surrender them without being in violation of the order for possessing them, as well as a clearly defined protocol for getting them back (in the event the abuse allegation turns out not to have been legitimate).

    The laws for this also needs to be able to pass an appropriate "taking" test in view of the 5th and 14th Amendments. Since the guns are not themselves illegal objects, nor evidence in or seizures as part of a crime, if the owner is deprived of them and does not get them back, there is the matter of due process and compensation.

    And as far as this being the NRA's doing and the NRA scuttling the legislation, wouldn't it be more appropriate to blame the actual legislators who voted on these things? The NRA is not nearly the all-powerful-arm-twisting bogeyman some people make it out to be...

    •  Heh. Ok, deny the efficacy of lobbying itself (11+ / 0-)

      in order to defend the NRA. That's a new one.  :)  

      And no, they don't have a minor point. They don't even get to the point in the discussion that you reach here. They don't have an answer to your question. They seek to derail it immediately with no solution. People are dying because of the NRA.

      We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

      by tytalus on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:26:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was quoting the article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon
        He cannot, under the Fifth Amendment, be forced to disclose whether he is in possession of firearms, because that would be tantamount to forcing him to admit a crime.
        Whether or not you like their point doesn't mean they do not have one, and just because you do not like them does not mean they cannot be correct once in a while. And as far as their point goes, do you think the 5th and 14th don't apply anymore, or they just don't apply in cases where you disagree?

        For lobbying, look up the numbers. The NRA's lobbying budget and campaign contributions are at the small end of the corporate scale, something like 1% or less of Wall Street efforts. The amount the NRA spends per candidate is chump change in DC terms.

        But, feel free to continue ignoring the meat of my comment and just go on with emotional ranting. Everyone else will notice that I did not at any point dispute or disagree with the notion that domesitc abusers should not have guns...

        •  In DC terms... (8+ / 0-)

          while the discussion is about efforts at the state level. Nice try.

          You know from reading the article and citations that the NRA does not want to have the conversation that you purport to begin here. So, I dismiss the notion that they have a point in need of a solution. That's why you can't point to a solution from the NRA. They desire no solution. The status quo is fine with them.

          Anyway, please insult me some more about my emotional ranting.

          We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

          by tytalus on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:48:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon

            If you think I am trying to deflect things from the state level by using "DC" in my comment, I eagerly await the results of your research to show that my comparison of relative lobbying dollars and campaign contributions does not hold up at a state level. Oh wait, you didn't actually check that out to see if it was true, did you?

            hint: according to followthemoney.org, the total campaign contributions by the NRA (and its PAC's) at a state level averaged over the past ten years is about one-third of that of just Bank of America's contributions. The ratio also holds for just the 2012 election cycle. Then there is Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc., etc.

            And I never said that the NRA wanted a solution. I just pointed out that one of their criticisms might have some legal basis.

            But apparently the notion that the NRA might be partially correct on one part of something is just too much for you to handle, judging by your continued lack of response on it. The NRA said something, so you automatically oppose it, even if it is something I would have expected you to believe in, like civil liberties and equal rights under the law and due process and all those other terrible, terrible things where groups like the ACLU join forces with the NRA.

            So, it seems you have a knee-jerk opposition to something just because someone you don't like proposed it, even if it is something you yourself supported in the past. Sounds familiar, but I just can't seem to remember who or what it is you remind me of.

            So, to your unwillingness (or inability) to address the basic liberal issues I mentioned, I give the traditional tytalus response:

            Have a good day.
    •  YES (5+ / 0-)
      If being the subject of a protective order makes you unable to lawfully possess guns, what exactly are you supposed to do, load them up into your car and drive them to a police station?
      Or under current law, the person can take them to a gun show and sell them himself.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the state has an interest (8+ / 0-)

        in facilitating the surrender of guns without throwing additional charges at someone. But I suspect they actually would facilitate the surrender...in California, that's exactly what they do. Here's a piece of the NYT article that mentions it.

        Every morning, Detective John Kovach, who handles a range of domestic violence investigations, reviews a stack of protective orders filed the day before — generally 15 to 20 a day — looking for any mention of firearms.

        Usually, a handful of orders a day will contain some reference to guns, which Detective Kovach follows up on. He sometimes contacts the person protected by the order to find out more. He also checks various law enforcement databases, including one available in California that tracks handgun purchases.

        He goes out once or twice a week and serves the restraining orders himself. Usually, he says, he tries to collect firearms immediately, employing a well-honed sales pitch about helping the person comply with the law. If he believes beforehand that the person might not be cooperative, he will sometimes request a search warrant.

        But you know how it is, the NRA doesn't want anyone to know about that, or about the lack of funding for enforcement. They'd rather crow about laws not being enforced as an argument for gun proliferation, not increased budgets for the cops.

        We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

        by tytalus on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:10:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  California (0+ / 0-)

          The restrained party is supposed to, within 24 hours, either sell the firearms to an FFL (no private sales or transfers) or surrender them to local law enforcement. For the latter, the owner is allowed to recover the weapons once the restraining order lapses (if it ever does),  though I have read that this isn't always that easy.

          I have a feeling a lot of people don't do this, though, so I'm glad at least some officers are taking the initiative.

    •  No, the NRA doesn't have a minor point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      under Federal legal ownership continues up until a hearing at which the accused has an opportunity to defend themselves.

      So and emergency protective order should be followed soon thereafter by a hearing at which the accused gets a change to rebut the accuser and defend their RKBA.

      Only after that point, and with a judge determining that the accused poses a threat does surrender of firearms come into play.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:43:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The gunners claim (10+ / 0-)

    that we should balance the people who get shot by the guns in their homes with the criminals who get scared away by somebody waving a gun.

    They don't count the people waving a gun to scare their wives or other family members.

  •  Federal Law - Prohibited Person under a P.O. (4+ / 0-)
    8. Person Subject to a Restraining Order: This prohibited person category includes any person who is currently subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, child of the person, or child of the intimate partner OR engaging in other conduct that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the intimate partner or child. The court order must meet the specific requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) to be prohibiting.
    Federal Firearms Licensee Quick Reference and Best Practices Guide
    (A few excerpts)

    http://www.atf.gov/...

    Prohibited Transfers

    You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing or receiving a  firearm. Do not sell or otherwise transfer a firearm and do not contact NICS if you have reason to believe that a person seeking to obtain a firearm is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm.

    Note: If a person answers “No” to Item 11.a or 12 of Form 4473, or answers “Yes” to one or more questions in Items 11.b through 11.l of Form 4473, that person has given you reason to believe he or she is prohibited and the transaction must be stopped.

    You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any of the following prohibited persons or in the following circumstances:

    1. Straw Purchaser: A “straw purchaser” is a person who is not the “actual buyer” of the firearm; that is, a person who obtains a firearm for another person. Straw purchases are a primary source of firearms used in crime. If you suspect that a transaction is a straw purchase or there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the potential sale—such as one person picking out the firearm, handling the firearm, and providing the payment for the firearm while another person completes the Form 4473—you should not sell the firearm. Similarly, if one person attempts to purchase a firearm, NICS denies or delays the attempted purchase, and another person with him or her attempts to buy the same firearm, you must not complete this sale.

    2.  Person Under Indictment: A person “under indictment” includes any person who has been charged by indictment or information in any court with a crime for which he or she may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 1 year.

    3.  Person Convicted of a Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for a Term Exceeding 1 Year: This prohibited person category includes any person who has been convicted of a felony or other crime for which the person could have been sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year—EVEN if the court actually placed the person on probation or sentenced the person to a term of imprisonment for 1 year or less.

    4.  Fugitive from Justice: A fugitive from justice is a person who has fled from any State to avoid prosecution for a crime (felony or misdemeanor) or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding.

    5.  Unlawful Drug User or Drug Addict: This prohibited person category includes any person who unlawfully uses—or is addicted to—marijuana, depressants, stimulants, narcotic drugs, or other controlled substances. Alcohol is NOT considered a controlled substance.

    6.  Adjudicated Mental Defective or Person Involuntarily Committed to a Mental Institution: This prohibited person category includes any person who has EVER been adjudicated by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to be, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease, a danger to himself or herself or to others or to lack the mental capacity to contract or to manage his/or her own affairs. This category also includes any person who has been subject to a finding of insanity in a criminal case, including a finding that he or she is incompetent to stand trial. Also included is any person who has EVER been formally committed to a mental institution by a court or other lawful authority. This category does NOT include a person committed to a mental institution solely for observation or a person who was voluntarily admitted to a mental institution.

    7.  Person Dishonorably Discharged from the Military: A person is considered dishonorably discharged only if he or she was separated from the Armed Forces of the United States as a result of a dishonorable discharge or a dismissal adjudged by a general court-martial. This prohibition does NOT include persons with a bad conduct discharge or any other less than honorable discharge.

    8. Person Subject to a Restraining Order: This prohibited person category includes any person who is currently subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, child of the person, or child of the intimate partner OR engaging in other conduct that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the intimate partner or child. The court order must meet the specific requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) to be prohibiting.

    9. Person Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: This prohibited person category includes any person who has EVER been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence regardless of the title of the offense. The offense must meet the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). Note: Unlike other prohibited person categories, law enforcement officers purchasing firearms for official use are NOT exempt from this prohibited person category.

    10. Person who has Renounced U.S. Citizenship: A person has renounced his or her United States citizenship if he or she takes formal steps to renounce her/his citizenship before a diplomatic or consular officer or before an officer designated by the Attorney General during a time of war.

    11. Aliens Illegally or Unlawfully in the United States: This prohibited person category includes any person who unlawfully entered the United States or who illegally remains in the United States after his or her authorized period of stay has expired.

    11a. Nonimmigrant Aliens: A nonimmigrant alien is an alien who is lawfully in the United States on a temporary basis for purposes of travel, business, study, etc. The term does NOT include a permanent resident alien (someone who possesses a “green card.”) A nonimmigrant alien may only purchase or receive a firearm if he or she: (a) was admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or presents a valid hunting license or permit issued by a State; (b) qualifies as a foreign diplomat, official, or law enforcement officer as defined at 18 U.S.C. § 922(y)(2); or (c) has received a waiver of the prohibition from the Attorney General.

    12. Sale of a Firearm or Ammunition to a Person Under Age 18: You may not sell or deliver a firearm or ammunition to a person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is less than 18 years old.

    13. Sale of a Handgun or Handgun Ammunition to a Person Under Age 21: You may not sell or deliver a firearm other than a rifle or a shotgun—or ammunition other than rifle or shotgun ammunition—to a person who you know or have reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years old. A firearm frame or receiver is not a rifle or shotgun and may not be sold to a person under 21 years old.

    14. Sale in Violation of State Law or Published Ordinance: You may not sell or deliver a firearm to any person in any State where the purchase or possession would be in violation of a State law or published ordinance.

    We recommend that you refer to the most recent edition of ATF’s State Laws and Published Ordinances–Firearms.
    Age Restrictions

    As noted above, under Federal law, the minimum age to purchase firearms and ammunition from an FFL is 18. If the firearm is other than a rifle or a shotgun—or ammunition for other than a rifle or a shotgun—the minimum age is 21 [18 U.S.C. 922(b)(1)]. However:

    1. You may sell ammunition that is interchangeable between rifles and handguns to a buyer who is at least 18 years of age if you are satisfied that he or she will use the ammunition in a rifle.

    2. Regardless of less restrictive State and local age requirements for firearms and ammunition purchases, you must adhere to the above Federal mininum age
    provisions.

    Background Check 101 - What is a Straw Buyer?
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:26:39 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, tytalus. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, tytalus

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