Postscript: How Firearms Fuel Domestic Violence in the US


In 2019, nearly two-thirds of domestic violence homicides in the United States were committed with a gun. On average, three women are killed by a current or former partner every day in the United States. Between 1980 and 2014, more than half of women killed by intimate partners were killed with guns. Domestic violence affects children, friends, neighbors, peace officers, the abusers themselves, and society as a whole. This fall, the United States Supreme Court will hear a Second Amendment case (United States v. Rahimi) that may affect whether Congress or state legislatures may pass laws to mitigate domestic violence. To unpack what we know about the effect of firearms on intimate partner violence, Postscript brings you two nationally recognized experts on public health and firearms and an attorney who helped assembled an amicus brief for the Supreme Court.

Dr. Shannon Frattoroli, PhD, MPH, is Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. Her scholarship focuses on how to translate evidence about injury and violence prevention into policies and practices that create safe places for people to thrive. She is a leader on both research and practice efforts to implement firearm dispossession, provisions of domestic violence restraining orders, and the new extreme risk protection order laws (often called “red flag laws”). Policy creation and implementation are crucial components of her research.

Dr. April M. Zeoli, PhD, MPH is Associate Professor of Health Management at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health and also the Policy Core Director at their Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. Her research focuses on the impact of state-level firearm safety laws on interpersonal firearm violence. She studies domestic violence-related firearm restrictions, such as laws that require or allow firearm restrictions on domestic violence restraining orders. She has particular interest in outcomes (for example reductions in violence, including suicide and intimate partner homicide) and how local implementation affects these outcomes. She is dedicated to using science to create and enforce policy that reduces firearm violence.

Kelly Roskam, JD, is the Director of Law and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. She studies the constitutional implications of, advocates for, and works to improve the implementation of firearms laws. She served as the Legal Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and has published on gun violence restraining orders, most recently work highlighting the practical implications of the Rahimi case (e.g., she co-authored “A Texas Judge Is Using Originalism to Justify Arming Domestic Abusers” with her colleague at Johns Hopkins, Spencer Cantrell and Natalie Nanasi at SMU-Dedman).

Susan Liebell is a Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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Susan Liebell

Susan Liebell is a Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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