Over 527,000 Utah residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Utah reported 60 intimate partner related homicides from 2009 to 2013. Although Utah 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.
Utah prohibits purchase and possession of firearms by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and final domestic violence protective orders. A court issuing an ex parte domestic violence protective order may prohibit the respondent from purchasing or possessing firearms if the court finds that the respondent’s use or possession of a weapon may pose a serious threat of harm to the petitioner. Utah does not require removal of firearms from persons subject to domestic violence protective orders; however, a court issuing an ex parte or final order may order further relief that the court considers necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the petitioner and any designated family or household member or minor.