Attorney General William P. Barr has formed a task force aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abuses, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The working group is comprised of nine U.S. attorneys who will look at loopholes in existing gun laws and bolster state efforts to take guns away from individuals convicted of domestic violence.
“Too often, domestic abusers start with threats and abuse, and end up committing extreme violence and even homicide, with devastating impact on families and the community around them,” Mr. Barr said in a statement. “I have directed this working group to examine this issue and determine the best way to use federal gun prosecutions and other appropriate tools to supplement state, local and tribal efforts to address domestic violence.”
Federal law has barred convicted felons and individuals who have been the subject of domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms. But the application of the law varies from state to state because of differing definitions of domestic violence.
Abusers who get access to guns are five times more likely to kill their partners, the Justice Department said.
Erin Nealy Cox, the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas will chair the group.
“With so many domestic disputes escalating from bruises to bullets, we felt we needed to supplement our state and local partners’ efforts to curb domestic violence with federal prosecutions,” she said in a statement.
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