The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown, released the following statement in response to reports of a domestic violence-involved shooting in San Antonio. Police believe that a woman shot and killed her two children and her mother; reports indicate that the shooter is also dead.
“Our thoughts are with the families and communities torn apart by this tragedy,” said Linda Magid, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in San Antonio. “There’s a lot we don’t know yet, but we know this – easy access to guns makes domestic violence situations deadlier. It’s time for our lawmakers to take action to protect families with common-sense gun safety laws.”
“How many tragic reminders do we need of the deadly connection between domestic violence and gun violence before our lawmakers do something about it?” said Devyn Moore, a volunteer with San Antonio Young Women’s Leadership Students Demand Action. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this shooting – and we’re committed to fighting day-in, day-out for the safer future we all deserve.”
The shooting came as domestic violence organizations in Texas have seen increases in reports of domestic violence; The San Antonio Police Department, for example, reported an 18% increase in domestic violence calls this March 2020 compared with the same month in 2019.
This spike in domestic violence coincides with an historic increase in gun sales. In Texas, nearly 275,000 background checks were completed this March, a nearly 95 percent increase from last March. A risk with the historic number of background checks is that law enforcement will not have enough time to complete each background check and a firearm will be transferred to someone who is later found to be prohibited, such as a domestic abuser.
Intimate partner violence and gun violence in the U.S. are inextricably linked. When a domestic abuser has access to a gun, they are five times more likely to kill their female victim. From 2014 to 2018, more than 400 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Texas. And 95% of law enforcement officers killed responding to domestic disturbance calls between 1996 and 2010 were killed with a firearm.
Meanwhile, year after year, Texas lawmakers have failed to pass common-sense gun safety laws, making it easier for guns to end up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them – including domestic abusers. Volunteers with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action have urged Texas legislators to close the boyfriend loophole and disarm domestic abusers.