The consequences can be deadly when access to guns is coupled with a domestic violence history.
Beyond posing a danger to abused spouses and children, gun safety advocates report that more than half of all mass shootings in recent years were committed by people with a history of domestic violence.
To help break this grave connection, District Attorney Jackie Lacey initiated the Firearm Relinquishment Project (FRP).
The project teamed the District Attorney’s Long Beach Branch Office with the police departments of Long Beach and Signal Hill.
The program’s goal is to make sure that guns are safely removed from or surrendered by people who are arrested and subject to written criminal protective orders.
FRP recently received the Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.
“The Firearm Relinquishment Project is an important step needed to reduce the threat of gun violence in our communities,” District Attorney Lacey said. “We are working to expand it to other communities. I’m very pleased it is receiving national recognition.”
To date, authorities identified 26 people through FRP who needed to relinquish weapons. From them, 21 handguns, a shotgun, five rifles, two assault weapons, 24 magazines and 3,826 rounds of ammunition have been surrendered or seized since October 2016.
District Attorney’s Office staff members are trained to prioritize these cases and take steps to make judges aware of the suspect’s firearms status as soon as possible.
Prosecutors also ask judges for hearings to make sure defendants are complying with firearm restrictions, request search and seizure conditions as part of being released from custody and for consideration of the defendant’s access to guns when bail is considered and at sentencing.
The program is in the process of expanding to law enforcement agencies in the Torrance and San Fernando areas.