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Senate passes law aimed at protecting domestic violence victims

For those in violent or abusive marriages, the presence of weapons in the home can pose a serious danger. Louisiana lawmakers recently addressed this serious safety issue by presenting new gun control legislation aimed at protecting domestic violence victims. The legislation, which has been passed by the Senate and is now being reviewed by the House, would prevent people who have been targeted with a restraining order from obtaining a firearm. It also would increase the penalty for those who violate a protective order by possessing firearms.

Currently, abuse victims in Louisiana are protected by a 2014 law that bans domestic violence offenders from owning guns. However, some lawmakers believe that additional frameworks and protections are needed to enforce this law. New legislation designed to provide this framework passed the Senate with 29 yes votes and 5 opposed.

The Louisiana Sheriff's Association was able to review the legislation and offer its feedback. This includes allowing sheriffs to temporarily hold weapons until protective orders are lifted. Sheriffs may also be asked to oversee the transfer of the firearm to a third party as an alternative option. One of the most heavily-debated topics in passing the legislation was whether sheriffs should be allowed to collect and store details about the temporarily confiscated weapons, an issue which was resolved using an amendment.

Various criminal and family law standards in Louisiana are designed to protect domestic violence victims. Those seeking a separation, divorce or child custody in an abusive situation may wish to learn more about family law in the state. An attorney can support this process.

Source: theadvertiser.com, "Bill would 'transfer' weapons from targets of restraining orders", Paul Braun, April 3, 2018

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