Projects Strengthen Community Response to Domestic Violence Incidents Involving Firearms
The Department of Justice announced today six new sites selected to participate in the Firearms Technical Assistance Project (FTAP) expansion as part of the Department’s ongoing effort to reduce violent crime and help communities across the country reduce domestic violence homicides and injuries committed with firearms. The six new FTAP sites are: the City of Tucson, Arizona; the Georgia Department of Community Supervision; the City of Detroit, Michigan; the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley in Tennessee; the City of Austin, Texas; and the City of Yakima, Washington. The six sites announced today join six existing FTAP sites, which include: Birmingham, Alabama; Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Columbus, Ohio; Brooklyn, New York; the State of Vermont; and Spokane, Washington.
In addition, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will award $750,000 to fund the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms, which supports all levels of government in comprehensive implementation and enforcement of domestic violence firearm prohibitions. OVW has awarded a total of $5.99 million to the 12 FTAP sites, which help communities nationwide reduce domestic violence homicides and injuries committed with firearms.
“At the Justice Department, our anti-violent crime strategy is centered on our partnerships with communities across the country and the law enforcement agencies that protect those communities every day,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Our Firearms Technical Assistance Project focuses on the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence at the community level through specialized training for our law enforcement partners and enhanced support services for the survivors of domestic violence.”
“We cannot end domestic violence homicides without crafting strategies that meet the unique needs on the ground in communities, including centering those who have been historically marginalized,” said OVW Acting Director Allison Randall. “This is why it is critical that FTAP sites work with underserved communities to implement firearm prohibition strategies that reflect their needs. OVW’s Firearms Technical Assistance Project keeps survivors and communities safe by using a holistic, culturally specific approach to firearm relinquishment – addressing the critical and often lethal nexus of firearms and domestic violence.”
FTAP supports the Justice Department’s comprehensive strategy for reducing violent crime and was included in the White House’s Fact Sheet on Highlights from the Biden Administration’s Historic Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence. Under federal law, individuals with domestic violence misdemeanor and felony convictions, as well as individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders, are prohibited from possessing firearms. The data shows that offenders with domestic violence in their past pose a high risk of homicide. In fact, domestic violence abusers with a gun in the home are five times more likely to kill their partners, and in addition to their lethality, firearms are used by abusers to inflict fear, intimidation, and coercive control.
The new FTAP sites will receive direct financial support, ranging from $499,212 to $500,000, as well as technical assistance designed to help each site implement best practices for preventing the use of firearms in domestic violence and incorporate community partners, particularly partner organizations that center underserved populations, into their efforts to implement effective responses to firearms and domestic violence. In 2019, OVW and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges launched FTAP to help communities implement policies, protocols, and promising practices to prevent abusers from having access to firearms in domestic violence cases. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms is operated by the Battered Women’s Justice Project through OVW funding, and includes a model firearms relinquishment protocol, strategies for communities and spotlights on successful approaches, among other resources.
OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Learn more at www.justice.gov/ovw.