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The Detroit City Council Just Passed an Ordinance to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers. It’s Time for State Lawmakers to Take Action.

October 26, 2021

Today, the Detroit City Council passed an ordinance that would close a dangerous gap in state and local law by prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders and those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms. The new ordinance would strengthen domestic violence protections in Detroit by making sure guns stay out of the hands of abusers and individuals with dangerous histories. 

When domestic abusers have access to guns, the effects can be deadly — particularly for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native women and Latinas, who experience higher rates of intimate partner violence and gun homicide. Research shows that access to a firearm makes it five times more likely an abusive partner will kill their female victim. The Detroit City Council’s actions today close a dangerous loophole at the local level and protects victims and survivors of domestic abuse by keeping guns out of the hands of abusers. 

Michigan state lawmakers have a similar opportunity to protect survivors and victims of domestic violence. Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced Senate Bills 678 and 679, and House Bills 5371 and 5372, which would prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms statewide, ensuring that guns stay out of the hands of all abusers in Michigan. 

Research shows that from 2015-2019, 91 women were shot and killed by an intimate partner in Michigan. 66 percent of female intimate partner homicide victims in Michigan are killed with a gun. Women also made up 80% of all intimate partner homicide firearm victims in Michigan from 2015-2019. 

As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close, the need for action to address gun violence and domestic violence remains as critical as ever. Michigan lawmakers must take action, and hold hearings for these critical bills immediately. 

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