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Domestic violence and gun control laws

Missouri residents who are in favor of more stringent gun restrictions for people who have a history of committing acts of domestic violence may soon see the passage of state regulations that are enforceable and more uniform. The shooting at a high school in Florida may be the impetus needed to boost the passage of the bills.

According to a non-profit organization that advocates for gun control and has spearheaded gun and domestic violence legislation in nearly 24 states since 2013, research has shown that 54 percent of mass shooters had committed family or domestic abuse. The organization also reports that if a gun is present, the chance of death for an abused partner increases by five times.

The National Rifle Association, which lobbies for gun rights, encourages abused partners to purchase guns for protection against domestic violence. The association has also reduced its obstruction to legislation that restricts people who have been found guilty of committing domestic abuse. However, the organization is in opposition in what it refers to as anti-gun legislation, such as a bill in Oregon that would have guns confiscated from people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of stalking.

Under federal law, spouses as well as certain romantic partners found guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses or who are under restraining orders for domestic violence, are not allowed to possess guns. However, local and state authorities have no jurisdiction to enforce those restrictions.

An attorney who practices family law may assist victims of domestic violence with obtaining the necessary orders of protection, such as a temporary restraining order or permanent protective order, from their abusers. The attorney may file a domestic violence complaint on behalf of clients alleging physical abuse by a significant other or family member.

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