This is the second half of a two-part training webinar that deals with domestic violence and firearm relinquishment. The first part tackled the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the issue – that is what is the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit initiative and what set the stage to launch this type of Multi-Disciplinary Team. Pieces of evidence from case studies and statistics provide a backdrop to the magnitude of the issue that links firearms to domestic violence were discussed. Likewise detailed is the legislation, policy, and procedure that became the result of the findings of the research.
For this segment of the course, Washington State’s Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit sent two of the team’s experts to examine the ‘how’ that is meant to address the issue that has been identified. Sharing their experience are Krystle Curley and Sabath Huttle. Krystle is the Firearms Prosecutor while Sabath is the Firearm Surrender Coordinator of the newly formed Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit.
Some of the specifics covered on this webinar include:
- A refresher on the problem with the previous system and the new legislation that aims to address the risk of firearm possession in a household where domestic violence ensues.
- The process of setting the ground for a culture of compliance that started with reviewing, analyzing and evaluating the existing policies, procedures, and challenges.
- The creation and composition of the multi-disciplinary team that will spearhead the efforts towards a culture of compliance.
- Creating a culture of compliance by starting with legislation and following it up with adherence and enforcement of the law.
- The workflow, procedure, and documentation required in the surrender of firearms to intervene in domestic violence cases and prevent its risks.
- A rundown of the responsibilities and functions of the two key roles in Washington State’s Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit – the Advocate and the Prosecutor.
- Best practices when serving orders that. stresses the importance of being fully-informed and soft skills, including examples straight from the officers on how to do this.
- What Firearm Review Hearings are and the expectations from the respondent, the prosecutor, and the court during one.
- Where the burden of proof lies in cases where a victim/petitioner claims the perpetrator/respondent possesses firearms.
- Their stand on third party transfer of firearms.
- Possible outcomes – both civil and criminal remedies – in the event that the respondent does not comply with the order to surrender weapon.
- Helpful tips and best practices in a firearms relinquishment program.
- Cases that illustrate the success of the program’s framework.
The participants asked questions related to:
- References for the statistics and findings mentioned
- Additional requirements that the DV offender is entailed to accomplish
- Perjury charges to non-compliant offenders
- The perpetrators being entered into the NICS database
- Defining registered owner and firearms
- The storage of surrendered firearms
- Dealing with respondents that are outside of the agency’s jurisdiction
- Utilizing process servers