May 15, 2019 Blog

Domestic Violence & Firearms Summit – Pierce County

A key tenet of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation’s public education efforts is our bi-annual Summits. We convene national and local subject matter experts to share information and discuss the intersection of gun violence with a number of research and advocacy issues. Last week, we hosted a Summit in Tacoma on the intersection of domestic violence and firearms. This was our third Summit addressing this intersection. Previous events were held in 2018 in Spokane and King Counties.

The event was co-sponsored by the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit (RDVFEU) and the YWCA Pierce County. We also welcomed speakers from the Spokane Police Department (SPD), the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center, and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.

The RDVFEU led two in-depth presentations on Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) and Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) as well as a panel discussion on how they work together to secure and execute those orders.

The heads of the YWCA Pierce County and the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center spoke about their respective services and how Pierce County leads Washington State in instances of domestic violence.

Two recently-launched nationwide resources were also showcased:

The Alliance’s Policy & Advocacy Director walked through some of the changes to ERPO/DVPO laws that have been enacted this legislative session.

You can check out the full agenda here as well as speaker bios.

To close out the day, Sgt. Ferguson of the Spokane PD and Theresa Phillips of the RDVFEU, led a session to identify barriers to replicating an enforcement unit similar to King County’s RDVFEU in Pierce County. More importantly, the workgroup brainstormed many high-impact changes that could be implemented in the short term. You can see key takeaways from that workshop here.

We are so grateful for the time and energy all of our speakers put into their presentations and for the 50+ law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, domestic violence advocates and others who spent their day with us at The Pine Room in Tacoma.

We are planning to host another Summit this Fall – stand by for details!


–Maureen McGregor is the Strategic Engagement Manager at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

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