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Fact Sheets: Protecting Women from Gun Violence

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See also: Women Under the Gun by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons

Five women are murdered with a gun in the United States every day, most often by an intimate partner. From 2001 to 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in this country by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. A key factor in reducing murders of women is, therefore, preventing dangerous domestic abusers from having easy access to guns.

There are four policies that states and the federal government should enact to block domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns and prevent murders of women:

  • Bar all convicted abusers, stalkers, and people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from gun possession.
  • Provide all records of prohibited abusers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
  • Require a background check for all gun sales.
  • Provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to ensure that domestic abusers surrender guns in their possession.

Some states have already enacted some of these policies, but many are falling short in enacting strong laws to protect women from fatal gun violence. For more information about the law in specific states, see the following fact sheets.

Chelsea Parsons is Director of Crime and Firearms Policy at American Progress. Lauren Speigel is the Research Associate for the Crime and Firearms Policy team at American Progress.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org