June 6, 2017

Under Texas and Federal law, individuals convicted of domestic abuse are required to surrender any firearms they possess – but it rarely happens.

A team of SMU law students who spent the past year studying Dallas County’s gun-surrender efforts presented their recommendations for improving the program during a press conference at the 12th annual Conference on Crimes Against Women, presented on May 24 by the Dallas Police Department with the Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support and other collaborating agencies.

“It is estimated that between 7,000 and 8,000 cases of domestic violence go through the courts each year in Dallas County, and yet only 60 guns have been turned in over the past two years,” says SMU Law professor Natalie Nanasi, director of the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women. Nanasie advised law students Laura Choi, Rachel Elkin and Monica Harasim in assembling the report.

“Statistics show that the presence of a firearm in a domestic violence situation increases the likelihood of death by 500 percent,” Elkin says. “We hope that this report can be a tool for Dallas County leaders to use to expand and improve the Gun Surrender Program.”

Read more at SMU News.