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July 6th, 2016

For Immediate Release

 

Andrew Warren Pledges to Disarm Domestic Abusers

Tampa, FL — Today, Andrew Warren pledged to combat domestic violence by prioritizing the enforcement of laws preventing domestic abusers from possessing firearms.  The pledge follows the United States Supreme Court’s recent 6-2 decision in Voisine v. United States upholding a prohibition against people convicted of domestic violence, including misdemeanor domestic assault, from possessing firearms. 

“Nobody who's been convicted of domestic violence should own a firearm,” Warren said.  “We need to do a better job to protect victims.  This is about saving lives.” 

In Hillsborough County, domestic violence homicides nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015.  Additionally, the domestic violence crime rate went up in Hillsborough County while declining statewide.  “The increase in domestic violence in our community is tragic and unacceptable,” Warren said.  “This is about priorities.  We need to do a better job allocating resources to target domestic violence.  We cannot let these cases slip through the cracks anymore -- we've seen the tragic consequences.”

The correlation between domestic violence and firearms is well-documented.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States, meaning on average domestic violence occurs every three seconds.  The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.  Furthermore, the presence of a firearm in an abusive relationship has been found to escalate domestic violence and intensify the fear of abuse by victims.  Simply put, the most severe abuse occurs at the hands of abusers with guns.

Warren explained that current state and federal laws prohibit domestic abusers from possessing firearms.  “These laws are already on the books.  Why has domestic violence increased in our community while it dropped statewide?  Clearly, we have to change course and give this issue the attention it needs.  As State Attorney, I will devote the energy and resources to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.”

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