Prosecutors, attorneys from nation's biggest cities call for gun law reform

A consortium of city and county prosecutors co-chaired by Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer on Wednesday called for changes to federal gun laws to prevent domestic abusers from possessing firearms.

The group of 37 attorneys, led by Feuer and Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance Jr., created Prosecutors Against Gun Violence in September 2014 and met in October in Portland, Ore., to discuss ways to reduce gun violence.

On Wednesday, the group announced its first recommendations in a 152-page report:

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-- Federal laws should be changed to bar people with temporary domestic violence restraining orders from buying or possessing a firearm.

-- Once domestic abusers with firearms are identified, courts, law enforcement and prosecutors should create protocols to remove the guns, ensure the firearms aren’t returned without a background check and that there’s accountability for violations.

“It is time for everyone, including members of Congress and members of the gun lobby, to accept the facts – guns in the home do not make you safer and, in fact, increase the risk of gun violence and death particularly in families where domestic violence is present,” read a statement from Margot Bennett, executive director of the group, Women Against Gun Violence.

When an abusive partner has access to a gun, there is a five-fold increase in the chances their victim will be killed with that weapon, according to the group.

“Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination,” Feuer said in a press release.  “This report is a national call to action to prevent deadly domestic violence incidents through practical, data-driven solutions.”

Prosecutors Against Gun Violence includes prosecuting attorneys in cities across the nation, including Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Boston. Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey and San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascon are also part of the coalition.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.


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