The fight to reduce gun violence is an integral part of the fight against gender-based violence. In 2014 Legal Voice and our allies successfully advocated for a Washington law that keeps abusers with domestic violence protection orders against them from purchasing or possessing firearms. That same year, we supported an initiative that successfully closed a background check loophole to help ensure abusers cannot purchase guns.
Even with those protections in place, Washington State law still allows many abusers and people experiencing dangerous mental health crises to slip through the cracks, and does nothing to prevent tragedy in many cases, even when family members see the warning signs.
Initiative 1491 seeks to fill in those gaps by creating Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) that would allow courts to temporarily prohibit gun purchases and possession by people who have been shown to pose a high risk of harming themselves or others.
On average, five women are murdered with a gun each day in the U.S., most often by an intimate partner. In fact, the presence of a gun in the home makes it five times more likely that domestic abuse will end in homicide. This initiative gives women experiencing abuse and harassment a powerful tool to help keep guns out of dangerous hands.
Legal Voice is proud to endorse I-1491. We encourage you to pledge your support and sign the petition to put this issue on the November ballot.