Advocates worry for domestic violence victims as lawmakers consider new bill

(Photo KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Under current state law, those convicted of domestic violence have to surrender their guns and fill out a form. But a new bill is wanting to do away with it – a move that some advocates worry will have a negative impact on victims and their safety.

Advocate Vicki Jones works with domestic violence victims. She said from the time victims step through the doors to seek help, it usually takes several visits before victims are ready to leave their abuser.

She’s worried about a new bill that’s being considered in the Tennessee legislature.

“I don’t think they would be willing to continue the process of pursuing justice if there wasn’t any accountability.”

Jones said the form is the only form of accountability to make sure guns are taken away from the convicted abuser. According to statistics, abusers who have access to guns are more than five times more likely to kill the victims.

“By removing a basic protection that really a small step forward for us to hold them accountable for us is really frightening,”Becky Bullard, the Senior Director of Programs at the Office of Family Safety, told WTVF.

Domestic violence survivor Mary Jones stated it’s not about taking away guns from law abiding citizens.

“Think about the women who didn’t survive because someone owned a gun and nothing was done, because someone owned a gun.”

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