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Eval Rev. 2006 Jun;30(3):361-73.

Taking guns from batterers: public support and policy implications.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Federal law prohibits the purchase or possession of a firearm by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and those under certain domestic violence restraining orders. The purpose of this investigation is to examine public sentiment about the removal of firearms in the absence of a restraining order or misdemeanor conviction following domestic violence. An experimental vignette design was used in a telephone survey of a cross-sectional statewide sample of 522 community-residing adults in California. Study design and population weights were applied; the findings, thus, are a reasonable approximation for the population of California. In more than 3,500 vignettes, the abusive behavior was judged to be wrong, illegal, or should be illegal (98.7%, 73.1%, and 77.7%, respectively). Although only about one half (56.5%) of the scenarios were thought to merit the issuance of a restraining order, three fourths (77.4%) were thought to merit the removal of firearms. Multivariate analyses indicated greater support for firearms removal when the abuse involved sexual or physical abuse (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] ranged from 2.65 to 5.64) or a gun (AOR = 6.54). Men were the sole population group with significantly lower support for firearm removal following domestic violence (AOR = 0.39). The men who wanted firearms to remain did not differ from other men on any of the measured variables. In sum, there is substantial support, especially when a gun is displayed in a domestic violence incident, for policies requiring the removal of firearms from abusers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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