Over 1.6 million Massachusetts residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Massachusetts reported 198 domestic violence related homicides from 2008 to 2017. Although, Massachusetts doesn’t report the mechanism of death, evidence suggests firearms are a significant contributing factor. An abuser’s access to firearms can determine a victim’s chances of survival; domestic violence firearm prohibitions and removal laws save lives.
In Massachusetts, an individual must have a license to purchase or possess a firearm. No license shall be issued to persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence unless it has been 5 or more years since conviction, adjudication, release from confinement, probation, or parole supervision (whichever occurs later). No license shall be issued to a person currently subject to a temporary or permanent abuse protection order. Massachusetts requires removal of firearms from persons subject to a temporary or emergency abuse protection order.