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Lemon Grove Tragedy Came Amid Spike in California Gun Sales, Domestic Violence Calls

April 21, 2020

On Thursday, two teenage twins in Lemon Grove were shot and killed by their mother’s ex-boyfriend. Neighbors on the scene reported they heard gunfire and saw the twins’ mother come out of the home screaming that her children had been shot.

“I grabbed the little kids and ran out the back because I knew I couldn’t do anything for my daughters,” NBC 7 San Diego quoted Joann Hoyt, the mother of Caira and Leah Christopher, as saying.

The deadly shooting came as cities around California see an uptick in domestic violence calls, and as. Advocates across the state raise concerns about women and families being forced to quarantine with their abusers. 

Meanwhile, California has seen a rise in gun sales: the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) found that the number of background checks conducted in the state during March 2020 was nearly 34 percent higher than in March 2019. 

Here’s more on domestic violence in California:

  • Domestic violence and gun violence are inextricably linked. Every month, an average of 53 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner in the United States. Nearly 1 million women alive today have reported being shot or shot at by intimate partners, and 4.5 million women have reported being threatened with a gun. 
  • From 2014 to 2018, 306 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in California. Nationally, women of color are victims of homicide at higher rates than white women, and over 55 percent of these killings are committed by an intimate partner.  
  • Over 3000 Californians are shot and killed every year. And amid COVID-19 closures, concerns for domestic violence among families in isolation continue to grow.

More information about domestic violence legislation available here. Statistics about gun violence in California are available here, and information on how California’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.

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