Over 552,000 West Virginia residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, the West Virginia Domestic Violence Review Team reported 103 domestic violence related deaths between 2003 and 2005. Although West Virginia 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.
West Virginia prohibits possession of a firearm by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and emergency and final domestic violence protective orders. A court issuing an emergency protective order or final domestic violence protective order shall require removal if certain criteria are met.