When Abusers Keep Their Guns

Starting in 1968, Congress has passed a series of laws, as have some states, stripping gun possession rights from people convicted of felonies or of domestic violence, or who are the subjects of restraining orders. But neither federal nor most state authorities do much to enforce the laws, relying instead on an honor system that often fails. Some places, like Washington's King County (Seattle), have done more to track who has guns they are barred from having. Thorough follow-up enables them to confiscate such guns in a process that can be less potentially violent than assumed.

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