DETROIT — A recent domestic violence shooting in Detroit highlights the urgent need for Michigan lawmakers to take action to prohibit convicted domestic abusers from owning or possessing a gun. Last Friday, 35-year-old Andricka McIntosh, a mother of seven, was killed by her husband while in the process of seeking a divorce. According to police reports, Andricka McIntosh, a former sheriff’s deputy and police officer, was shot just hours before her divorce hearing.
“We are heartbroken to learn of this horrific incident, and urge Michigan lawmakers to honor Andricka McIntosh’s life by passing measures to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers,” said Celeste Kanpurwala, a chapter lead with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action. “When domestic abusers have access to guns, the effects can be deadly. We urge our elected representatives to act with urgency to pass laws to disarm domestic abusers and save lives.”
Gun-related intimate partner violence is a devastating and lethal crisis facing women and families in the United States. Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will die at the hands of their abuser, and intimate partner mass shootings are not uncommon, though many don’t make headlines.
America’s culture of silence around domestic violence — and the role of firearms in perpetrating that violence — means that too often we don’t talk about or recognize its full toll. The trauma from gun related intimate partner violence can reverberate beyond victims, impacting concerned neighbors, friends, and entire families across generations. Understanding the ways that gun-related domestic violence traumatizes entire communities is essential for developing successful responses.
In February, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a critical, long-standing gun safety law that protects domestic violence victims and keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. By declaring this critical federal law to be unconstitutional, the Fifth Circuit panel would allow people in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders to access a gun. If the decision is not reversed by the Supreme Court, domestic violence survivors face the prospect that their abusers can arm themselves.
In the next coming months, Michigan lawmakers will have the opportunity to pass measures to keep guns out of the hands of violent domestic abusers. About 65% of women killed in domestic violence incidents were killed by a gun. In the first months of the 2023 Michigan legislative session lawmakers took widespread action on gun safety, passing three critical gun safety bills – lawmakers should build on this progress and pass domestic violence relinquishment legislation to save the lives of the most vulnerable Michiganders.
More information on gun-related domestic violence is available here. Information about the intersection of intimate partner violence and guns is available here. To speak with a policy expert, Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteer, or survivor of gun violence please do not hesitate to reach out.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or intimate partner violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, available 24/7, for confidential assistance from a trained advocate. If you’re unable to speak safely via phone, you can chat online at thehotline.org.