County joins program to get guns away from abusersFor the next two years, San Mateo County will partner with the California Department of Justice in a pilot program to get guns out of the hands of people under court restraining order in domestic violence cases.
Guns held illegally by perpetrators of domestic violence are often used in homicides of partners and children, statistics show. This is "an enormous danger," said Supervisor Mark Church in a hearing Feb. 6 "These guns present an enormous threat to those who are abused and to law enforcement officers."
The Board of Supervisors approved a joint "Domestic Violence Firearms Compliance Program" that will run into 2009.
The state will contribute $972,000 over two years to pay for a Justice Department special agent and crime analyst, and for a full-time San Mateo County sheriff's detective to work on the program. The county will contribute approximately $387,000 for a second sheriff's detective.
While people under restraining orders for domestic violence are legally prohibited from owning guns, these people are "least likely" to turn them over to the police, Supervisor Church said, during a hearing when several victims of domestic violence and their advocates spoke.