Dallas County plans gun clampdown on domestic violence abusers

Dallas County has come up with an innovative new plan to start enforcing a gun prohibition against domestic abusers.

County has lagged behind on confiscating guns from abusers, report shows

Dallas County is planning on implementing an innovative strategy to get guns out of the hands of people who engage in domestic violence, according to FOX News. The county will be the first in the country to rely solely on private gun ranges to store firearms confiscated from abusers. The plan follows concerns raised by local media that the county was failing to enforce a firearm prohibition against domestic abusers.

Private gun range used for storage

Both state and federal laws prohibit domestic abusers from owning firearms, but Dallas County has had trouble enforcing those laws because of a lack of storage space. Usually, confiscated firearms are kept in a police property room. Dallas police, however, said they did not have enough space to store the firearms and that they were also concerned over whether they had the legal authority to confiscate the weapons in the first place.

Under the new plan, a private gun range near Love Field will be used for storing the confiscated guns. While other counties use private facilities to store guns after police storage space has run out, Dallas will be the first county in the nation to rely entirely on private storage in order to enforce the firearm prohibition.

Prohibition not enforced

The news of the plan comes just a month after the Dallas Morning News reported that the county lags behind the rest of Texas in enforcing the gun prohibition for domestic abusers. A number of laws exist that prohibit people who have been convicted of domestic violence or who are subject to a protective order from owning guns.

Advocates of the plan say that it will help women who are caught in abusive relationships, especially since guns are involved in most domestic homicide cases, according to the Dallas Morning News. Meanwhile, some Texas legislators say they are considering whether state law needs to be changed in order to make it easier for authorities to confiscate guns from domestic abusers. The new plan is expected to go into operation within the next few months.

Domestic violence issues

While the above news is to be lauded as a step forward in protecting families from domestic abusers, the sad truth is that it will not prevent domestic violence outright. Victims of domestic violence often feel trapped and may be afraid of coming forward to authorities to help put an end to the abuse.

Fortunately, Texas law does provide ways for domestic violence victims to seek protection from their abusers. Anybody who is the victim of an abusive partner should contact a family law attorney as soon as possible. Such an attorney can discuss what options may be available and whether a protective or restraining order may help keep the victim safe.

Keywords: domestic violence, guns, families