Statement from Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility:
“We applaud Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess and his continued advocacy for domestic violence victims. As a Seattle City Council member, he fought hard to secure funding for positions solely focused on enforcing the firearm surrender component of protection orders. Now, as mayor, he’s once again leading on this issue by putting them into the city’s budget.
Domestic violence situations can quickly turn deadly if a firearm is present. Research shows that in the United States, a woman is fatally shot by her partner every 16 hours. Domestic violence homicides are seldom premeditated: when a firearm is present, women are five times more likely to be killed by an abuser. In more than half of domestic violence homicides in Washington between 2006 to 2015, the abuser had previously been ordered to surrender firearms.
The startling research demonstrates the importance of effectively implementing laws that help remove guns from dangerous hands, including abusers. It’s not enough for a woman to have a protection order that requires firearm surrender, it must be served and enforced in a timely fashion and according to the law. The positions that Mayor Burgess has put in the budget are critical to facilitating the surrender of firearms and will save the lives of women and children in Seattle.
Seattle is a national leader on gun violence prevention, and we applaud Mayor Burgess for his continued leadership. Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes and Seattle City Council members Lorena Gonzalez and Sally Bagshaw have also been instrumental in prioritizing the removal of firearms from the most dangerous of situations by supporting the recommended regionalization of this work.
The positions Mayor Burgess has requested mirror several positions that King County Executive Dow Constantine put in his budget last week. King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg’s office has also championed this effort in King County.
It’s critical that the Seattle City Council and King County Council fully fund these positions in their respective budgets. With the allocation of funding, the City will partner with King County and others in the region on the recommended multi-disciplinary, regionalized and dedicated approach to tackling this public health and public safety priority. Because we know that gun violence does not stop at jurisdictional boundaries, we must step up and enforce the law to reduce the risk of harm for survivors, their families and the community.”