Webinar presenters Sabath Huttle and Krystle Curley of the King County Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit answered a number of your questions after their presentation, "Domestic Violence and Firearms Relinquishment: Setting Up Your Firearms Surrender Program." Here are a few of their responses.
Audience Question: Do you happen to have a list of references or resources especially for those research articles at the very front end of your PowerPoint presentation? Specifically, the audience member was asking for the five times more likely — they could not take notes fast enough. Do you have a list of those references, etc.?
Sabath Huttle: I don't have them right in front of me but I can send them.
Audience Question: Are there other requirements made of the DV offender in addition to surrendering their weapons like anger management classes, anything like that?
Krystle Curley: There are. There can be with the protection order. Our unit is specifically with the firearms. There can be DV Drug treatment, parenting class but we deal specifically with firearms. We should also note consider pistol license, we don't talk about that, that much. That's something else that they are supposed to surrender and we do check for that as well.
Audience Question: You talked about the first three people that testified that they said didn't have any other guns. Were any of those three firearm owners who indicated that they have no firearms, were they ever charged with perjury?
Krystle Curley: Yes, they were.
Audience Question: So, when the offender lies on the forms, you do go back and prosecute?
Krystle Curley: Yes, I will say. I'm a very aggressive prosecutor. I do like to charge. However, I do try to remember that my role here, while still prosecuting, while still trying cases, I want to get the firearms by whatever means I can get the firearms in the best and safest way but yes, we do file criminal charges.
Audience Question: Are protection order respondents automatically entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems or NICS?
Krystle Curley: I believe so, yes.
Audience Question: What does it mean when a person says they are a registered carrier? Is it just that the serial number is registered or is that information registered and shared?
Krystle Curley: I think it's a misnomer a lot of people like to say. I mean to say you are a lawful gun owner, I think that's a right term. Nobody is really registered. You don't have to have a concealed pistol license, to have a rifle in your home or if you are not concealing it, you don't have to have a concealed pistol license. Firearms, up until just a handful of years ago, you can purchase them in a parking lot in Walmart and not have to pass any background checks. Somebody saying they are a registered owner, it's kind of meaningless.
Audience Question: When you say firearms, does that include things like airguns?
Audience Question: Does it include ammo?
Krystle Curley: Federally it does but for the state of Washington, ammunition is not included in what is ordered to be surrendered. We would really pursue ammunition.
Audience Question: Who stores the firearms?
Sabath Huttle: The individual agencies. The law enforcement agencies take in the guns whatever agency that is, they are responsible for storage. I know there are probably a lot of people listening from law enforcement agencies that are like, we do not have enough room, how are we going to store these guns and that's a very big issue. There are a lot of agencies out there that they don't have the space in their property rooms to take these extra guns and we don't claim to have the exact right answer to that problem.
Krystle Curley: Our answer is we’ll cross that bridge when that happens. I'd rather have all firearms and worry about it when it happens. I know it was a huge concern for a lot of individuals in the work group.
Audience Question: What do you do when a case starts to cross state lines like that? How does a firearms owner surrender their weapons when they are out of state? Have you found other agencies out of state to be cooperative?
Krystle Curley: Yeah, if this individual seems to be cooperative, right? Say, he has a weapon he has to turn in, he goes to his local agency, obviously without the firearm, and go with the order to surrender weapon, and say, "Hey I got this order to surrender weapons from Washington state, I have to turn it in." A lot of times, our court is very good in filling out the form to surrender weapons. Our forms say you are required to surrender to blank agency. It is usually the agency where the person lives or to a specific agency. Our Court is really good about putting agencies in the respondent's jurisdiction. If the respondent goes to the police agency where they have been ordered to surrender and say, "Hey I need to surrender, how do I do that?" If there's a court order to surrender weapons I think it's genuinely pretty successful in meaning to do that.
Sabath Huttle: We never had any issues with agencies getting in touch with us saying we are not doing this, we've been surprised, happily surprised at how much other agencies out of state have been willing to work with us.
Audience Question: Are private process servers used to serve orders in Washington State?
Krystle Curley: They are and we highly recommend against it just because of safety issues.
Sabath Huttle: The bad is sometimes it becomes necessary to go down that route. There are certain agencies that we work with that only try to serve the documents one time and if they can't get it in one time, they are not going to try again. They just don't have the capacity to do that. So, the Temporary Order keeps on getting reissued and reissued. Sometimes people are kind of forced into a corner to go down the private server route just to try and get the documents served
Audience Question: Do all protective orders include an order to surrender weapons?
Click Here to Watch a Recording of "Domestic Violence and Firearms Relinquishment: Setting Up Your Firearms Surrender Program."