What is the problem?
Domestic violence and gun violence are deeply interconnected, impacting millions of women, families, and communities across the U.S. Guns are more likely to turn abuse fatal.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an opportunity to remember victims and survivors, raise awareness of what domestic violence is, how to recognize it, and what can be done to prevent it.Learn More
Why is it an issue?
Guns can turn domestic violence deadly.
By the numbers
Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner.
Over 4.5 million women have reported being threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.
Access to a gun makes it five times more likely that a woman will die at the hands of a domestic abuser.
In more than half of mass shootings, the perpetrator shot an intimate partner or family member.
What are the solutions?
Background Checks on All Gun Sales
Background checks are the foundation of any comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy. Current federal law requires that background checks be conducted whenever a person attempts to buy a gun from a licensed gun dealer. This is to ensure that the buyer is not legally prohibited from having the gun.
Prohibit People With Dangerous Histories From Having Guns
People with dangerous histories must be prohibited from having guns. Federal law prohibits gun possession by certain categories of people. States also set standards for who is too dangerous to have guns. People prohibited by federal or state law will fail a background check if they try to buy a gun from a licensed dealer.
Require Prohibited People to Turn in Their Guns
Requiring people to turn in their guns when they become legally prohibited from having them helps keep guns out of the wrong hands. Under federal law, there is no affirmative requirement that people who are prohibited from having guns turn in firearms that they already have.
Close the Charleston Loophole
Under federal law, gun purchases may move forward by default after three business days—even if a background check has not been completed. While 90% of federal background checks are completed in minutes, those that take longer than three business days are four times as likely to be denied.
Alert Local Law Enforcement of Failed Background Checks
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) stops thousands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other prohibited people from buying guns each year. Potential purchasers often fail NICS background checks and walk away with no consequences, free to try to arm themselves in other ways.