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Firearm privileges may be denied to domestic violence offenders

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Texas law enforcement is stepping up its efforts to remove firearms from domestic violence offenders. This increased measure is designed to force offenders accused of domestic violence charges to surrender their guns immediately to protect victims from further violence. Law enforcement is targeting a projected thousand or so firearms statewide this year, starting immediately. Officials stated the confiscated weapons would be stored at a non-public gun range.

A judge who is leading the project said that so far, efforts to compel offenders of domestic violence and other criminal offenses to surrender their weapons have not been very successful. Until now, working based on the honor system was an impediment to removing firearms from dangerous suspects, the judge said. It is expected that the new project would put an end to the problems faced so far, he said.

State laws and federal laws alike forbid those convicted of domestic violence crimes from enjoying possession of guns. However, a practicable modus operandi to enforcing the existing body of laws to enable confiscations was absent. Clearly, the idea is to take firearms away from those accused of family violence in order to ensure safety. This step would lower the risk of life-threatening situations arising under such volatile circumstances.

Under the new program, offenders possessing weapons would be ordered to surrender their firearms and a receipt will be issued as proof of surrender. Victims of family violence could be questioned about such weapons. Other investigations would be conducted alongside to find out if offenders are concealing information about other firearms they might have in their possession. An offender eligible to possess a gun again would be charged a fee to get the weapon back. The fee is mainly to cover costs of criminal background checks conducted on the accused.

Source: KHOU.com, "County moves to seize guns from domestic violence offenders," Tanya Eiserer, July 1, 2014

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