CLEVELAND — Convicted domestic abusers are not allowed to possess guns, it is against the law.
“These are firearms that are far more likely to be used in a crime of violence either against domestic violence victim of against law enforcement,” said US Attorney of the Northern District, Justin Herdman.
Last year, 71 domestic violence victims were killed at the hands of their abusers in Ohio.
“We know in domestic violence situations, if a gun is present the victim is five times more likely to be killed,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the ATF, Kyle Walton.
That’s why the U.S. Attorney’s Office is cracking down on convicted abusers. It is a new initiative that is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. “Certainly, the ability to prosecute someone who has a weapon under an active order of protection order is a tool in the toolbox we didn’t have before,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol Skutnik.
In just a few months, there have already been a dozen cases.
“There is no question in my mind it will save lives,” said Herdman.
“Access to weapons increases the risk of homicide to victims of domestic violence, “said Victoria Grant with Domestic Violence Child Advocacy Center.
Grant said one in four women, and one in three men will be the victim of abuse by an intimate partner nationwide.