Over 1.8 million Washington residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Washington reported 546 domestic violence murders and non-negligent homicides from 2009 to 2018. Although Washington 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.
Washington prohibits possession of firearms by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and persons subject to final sexual assault protection orders, final stalking protective orders, final harassment protective orders, final no-contact orders, and final domestic violence orders of protection. There are a variety of circumstances in which a judge issuing a temporary or final protective order, protection order, or order of protection shall or may require removal of firearms.