New study shows tighter gun laws reduce intimate partner homicides

Nov 30, 2017

Banning domestic abusers from getting guns will reduce intimate partner homicides, according to a study released Wednesday from Michigan State University.

The research examined 34-years of data from 45 states and compared gun laws and intimate partner deaths.

April Zeoli, lead researcher on the study, said in states where domestic abusers were barred from getting guns, intimate partner homicides went down.

“In states that have these laws, there is a 9% decrease in intimate partner homicide. Laws that restrict those who have been convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes are associated with a 23% reduction in intimate partner homicide.There is an idea out there that if someone doesn’t have a gun if they aren’t allowed to have a gun they are going to get one anyway. If they can’t get a gun they are going to commit homicide anyway. The research does not support those statements.”

Zeoli said she hopes her research will help convince legislators to increase restrictions for domestic abusers.

“Maybe legislators just need more research evidence before they will propose a law that does, in fact, restrict someone's second amendment rights. That is a serious thing to do but this research suggests that doing so will save lives.”

Federal law bans abusers who are married or living with their victim from purchasing handguns, but in Michigan, people with a history of abuse can still purchase rifles and other firearms.