Hillsborough Co. State Attorney announces new push to keep guns away from domestic violence abusers

State Attorney admits enforcement is inconsistent
Posted at 4:13 PM, Dec 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 18:20:11-05

The numbers are staggering, 56 percent of domestic violence homicides in Florida from 2006 to 2012 were committed with a gun. And firearms accounted for the murders of more than 1,300 women in Florida from 2002 to 2011.

She was 8 months pregnant when Tampa police say Briana Anderson's boyfriend shot her in the head. Her baby survived but will grow up without a mother. The father, Jamar Silas should have never owned a gun because he was a convicted felon.

Briana's story is one of the examples Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren used when he announced a new push to aggressively enforce existing laws that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Laws he admits are only as good as the enforcement.

"Everyday in America a woman is killed by a domestic partner using a gun. Unfortunately, inconsistent enforcement of those laws has allowed abusers access to firearms," says Warren.

Warren is promising to take guns away from defendants charged with domestic violence and step up the legal chess match against alleged abusers.

Taking Action Against Domestic Violence

"We will simplify the prosecution of domestic abuses by imposing additional charges or conditions which become pivotal when victims become reluctant to testify," says Warren.

But there are forces in Washington working against local law enforcement. Congress just passed a bill that would force all 50 states to honor concealed carry permits from other states — essentially allowing domestic abusers to carry concealed handguns to their states.

"I was up in Washington lobbying against that legislation. I was disappointed to see it passed the house but hopefully it won’t pass the senate," says Warren.

While current law requires people with active restraining orders to surrender firearms critics say it's based on an honor system in which the accused abuser can simply lie about having guns.