Guns and Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is considered by law enforcement officials to be the number one crime problem in Maine. There has been little info gathered about how offenders use firearms to intimidate intimate partners or family members.
A 2001 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined.
In Maine, on average, 54 percent of homicides with a firearm are domestic violence related. In 2000, domestic violence homicides accounted for all firearm murders.
In September of 2003, three supplemental questions were added to Protection from Abuse (PFA) complaint form to try and ensure that the judge presiding over the PFA process would have access to relevant firearm information. The added questions were:
- Does the defendant have access to a firearm?
- Does the defendant possess a firearm?
- Has the defendant ever used a firearm in an intimidating or abusive way?