News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, October 15, 2020
DOJ Charges 500+ domestic violence-related firearm cases

The Department of Justice announced it has charged more than 500 domestic violence cases involving firearms during Fiscal Year 2020. A Department priority since 2019 when Attorney General William Barr created the Department of Justice’s first ever-Domestic Violence Working Group, these charges are the result of the critical law enforcement partnership between United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminal offenders is one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities,” Attorney General Barr said in a news release. “This is especially important when it comes to individuals with prior domestic violence convictions. The statistics are clear that when domestic violence offenders have access to guns, their partners and their families are at much greater risk of falling victim to gun violence.

“In fact, in some communities across America, roughly half of the homicides are related to domestic violence. The Department of Justice is committed to keeping guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited from having them, and we will continue investigating and prosecuting all domestic violence firearms related crimes.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine has always prioritized prosecuting firearms crimes related to domestic violence, and will continue to do so,” said U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank. “October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month, and it is a good time to reaffirm our commitment to having zero tolerance for the possession of firearms by those who have committed acts of domestic violence.”

“According to the CDC, data suggests that about one in six homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner,” said ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo. “Nearly half of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by a current or former male intimate partner. ATF is committed to aggressively pursuing prohibited possession of firearms due to domestic violence convictions and certain protective orders. It is another way we prevent violent gun crime within our communities.”