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Study shows homicides persist despite domestic violence gun laws

Tennessee has enacted stringent laws to control domestic violence. It has also enacted several laws to sever the link between domestic violence and firearms. Despite these laws, recent data shows an increase in homicides caused by handguns in cases of domestic violence.

An analysis recently published by the Associated Press found that guns were used in incidents of domestic violence to kill 68 men and 190 women between 2006 and 2014. The actual numbers could be a bit higher because most of the data was self-reported by local law enforcement agencies, not a statewide agency. However, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported 41 homicides in which a gun was used and which were marked as incidents of domestic violence.

Tennessee prohibits the purchase of a weapon by persons who are subject to orders for protection or have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence. State law also prohibits possession of a firearm by persons who have been convicted of domestic violence; persons subject to an order for protection must surrender their firearms until the order is lifted.

Domestic violence can occur in a number of situations, including amid the emotional stress of a faltering marriage or divorce. Anyone who is in (or has been in) a relationship in which the other party has committed or threatened to commit physical abuse or any other acts of domestic violence may wish to consult an experienced family lawyer for an evaluation of the facts of the situation. A skilled attorney can provide a helpful analysis of various legal remedies and ways to stay safe.