5th Circuit Court Ruling

February 8, 2023

Dallas, TX – (Feb. 8, 2023) As the largest provider of services for domestic violence in Texas, The Family Place has been committed to building brighter futures for survivors of family violence for 45 years. The recent opinion of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals – striking down 30 years of federal law prohibiting those under a protective order for domestic violence from possessing firearms – is a severe threat to the futures of domestic violence survivors, impacting the safety of women, children, and men everywhere.

In an effort to protect victims of domestic violence, we must limit gun access to those under protective order. This is critical to decreasing the lethality of domestic violence incidents. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence:

· The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by as much as 500%.

· In 2021 alone, more than 70% of domestic violence victims were killed with a firearm.

· 100% of law enforcement, family, friends, and bystanders killed in 2021 domestic violence homicides incidents were killed by a perpetrator with a firearm.

· Over the past 10 years, the number of women murdered by an intimate partner with a firearm in Texas has nearly doubled.

The Family Place’s efforts to prevent family violence, including advocacy, are increasingly vital to countering the consequences of this decision. This is why The Family Place, along with other domestic violence partners, have supported legislation to ensure dangerous abusers and others who chose violence cannot access firearms.

This ruling is not only a step in the wrong direction but also has stripped organizations like The Family Place – and our agency partners – from lifesaving legal protection of those we serve who need it most. The Family Place will continue to partner with domestic violence organizations to educate policymakers, the public, and the media about the life-threatening connection between firearms and domestic violence homicides and will assertively urge swift progress on common-sense gun laws to ensure our nation is safer for all of us.

At the same time, we remain committed to helping survivors progress from fear to safety through emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, and skills development that support independence. For more information on The Family Place, please visit www.familyplace.org.

Mimi Sterling, CEO

The Family Place