State Intimate Partner Violence-Related Firearm Laws and Intimate Partner Homicide Rates in the United States, 1991 to 2015.

Abstract

Background

To prevent intimate partner homicide (IPH), some states have adopted laws restricting firearm possession by intimate partner violence (IPV) offenders. "Possession" laws prohibit the possession of firearms by these offenders. "Relinquishment" laws prohibit firearm possession and also explicitly require offenders to surrender their firearms. Few studies have assessed the effect of these policies.

Objective

To study the association between state IPV-related firearm laws and IPH rates over a 25-year period (1991 to 2015).

Design

Panel study.

Setting

United States, 1991 to 2015.

Participants

Homicides committed by intimate partners, as identified in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports, Supplementary Homicide Reports.

Measurements

IPV-related firearm laws (predictor) and annual, state-specific, total, and firearm-related IPH rates (outcome).

Results

State laws that prohibit persons subject to IPV-related restraining orders from possessing firearms and also require them to relinquish firearms in their possession were associated with 9.7% lower total IPH rates (95% CI, 3.4% to 15.5% reduction) and 14.0% lower firearm-related IPH rates (CI, 5.1% to 22.0% reduction) than in states without these laws. Laws that did not explicitly require relinquishment of firearms were associated with a non-statistically significant 6.6% reduction in IPH rates.

Limitations

The model did not control for variation in implementation of the laws. Causal interpretation is limited by the observational and ecological nature of the analysis.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that state laws restricting firearm possession by persons deemed to be at risk for perpetrating intimate partner abuse may save lives. Laws requiring at-risk persons to surrender firearms already in their possession were associated with lower IPH rates.

Primary funding source

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.7326/m16-2849

Publication Info

Díez, Carolina, Rachel P Kurland, Emily F Rothman, Megan Bair-Merritt, Eric Fleegler, Ziming Xuan, Sandro Galea, Craig S Ross, et al. (2017). State Intimate Partner Violence-Related Firearm Laws and Intimate Partner Homicide Rates in the United States, 1991 to 2015. Annals of internal medicine, 167(8). pp. 536–543. 10.7326/m16-2849 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25922.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Goss

Kristin Anne Goss

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Professor Goss focuses on why people do (or don't) participate in political life and how their engagement affects public policymaking. Her current research projects focus on the role of philanthropic billionaires in policy debates and on the evolution of gun-related advocacy over the past decade. Her recent articles and books are here. If you want a quick summary, here are some podcasts, op-eds, and other media offerings. 

Professor Goss directs the "Duke in DC" program, which provides select undergraduates with an immersive experience combining work experience and policy-oriented seminars. In 2017, she was inducted into the Bass Society of Fellows. See more about Professor Goss at kristingoss.com.

Professor Goss has written or co-produced three books on gun politics and policy: The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know, with Philip J. Cook (Oxford University Press, 2020; 1st ed 2014); Gun Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics, Policy, and Practice, co-edited with Jennifer Carlson and Harel Shapira (Routledge, 2018); and Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006, 2009). The latter book is based on her doctoral study, which won the American Political Science Association’s 2003 Harold D. Lasswell Award for the nation’s best dissertation in policy studies.

Professor Goss has also written widely on gender and politics. She is the author of The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women's Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice (University of Michigan Press, 2020 1st ed., 2013). The book documents and explains the surprising rise -- and even more surprising fall -- of American women's groups on the national stage. Systematically examining these groups' issue agendas over the last century, the book argues that public policy has profoundly shaped the nature and magnitude of women's collective voice in important national debates.

Professor Goss has published articles in journals including Perspectives on Politics, Policy Studies Journal, PS: Political Science and Politics, Interest Groups & Advocacy, Law & Contemporary Problems, Social Science Quarterly, American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Politics & Gender, Women & Politics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and the Fordham Law Review. She has also published chapters in major volumes on women's activism and interest groups. She is author of Better Together, the report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America.

Professor Goss also is active in the Triangle Area chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, which amplifies the voice of university-based academics in public policy debates.

At Duke, she is affiliated with the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Voluntarism, the Hart Leadership Program, and the Duke Center for Firearms Law.

Before her appointment at Duke, Professor Goss taught American politics courses at Georgetown University and served as a consultant for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Her Duke master’s thesis explored the challenges facing voluntary associations seeking to stop the epidemic of gun violence in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.

Professor Goss grew up near Denver, where she developed a passion for figure skating and animal welfare. Before entering academe, she was a Washington-based journalist for six years covering non-profit organizations and foundations for The Chronicle of Philanthropy.


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