New “red flag” law is already working

Maryland's red flag law

Maryland’s new “red flag” law allows police, victims and health professionals to petition Maryland courts when an individual, family member or client has a gun and is an imminent threat to themselves or the community.  The law, which went into effect in October 2018, is already saving lives across the state. Under the law, guns […]

Courts begin implementing new Maryland gun laws

new Maryland gun laws

Courts all across the state have begun implementing new Maryland gun laws that: improve firearm transfers upon conviction of a domestic violence crime; and make more people eligible to more quickly get Commissioner or court permission to temporarily remove guns from a person who is a threat to themselves or others. As of October 1, […]

Powerful tool to get guns out of the hands of abusers coming soon

new Maryland gun laws

Getting guns out of the hands of abusers is one of the most important ways to prevent domestic violence homicides. A new law that takes effect October 1 will give police and victims a powerful tool that can save lives. Beginning October 1 police, family members, intimate partners, cohabitants, health care professionals, and legal guardians […]

Police department releases domestic violence crime data

domestic violence crime

The Montgomery County Police Department has released initial domestic violence crime data for the first four months of  2018.  Court Watch has requested data on all 911 domestic violence calls for 2017 and hopes to report soon on more complete statistics, and compare them to similar data we obtained from the police department in 2014. […]

Are judges using simple practices that protect victims?

domestic violence courtrooms

Are judges using basic, fundamental practices in domestic violence courtrooms? Simple practices that improve case outcomes for victims? Only 53% of the time, finds our new study.  Many simple, no-cost practices, that are very important for victim safety, just aren’t being used by judges. Like a surgeon washing their hands prior to surgery, these practices […]

Samantha Bee uses our data on domestic violence and guns

domestic violence and guns

Samantha Bee took a hard look last night at domestic violence and guns – and she used Court Watch’s data in our “Abusers with Guns” study to highlight the critical role judges play.  We’re about 3 min, 50 seconds in. Samantha Bee used Court Watch data showing that 126 abusers convicted of assault in criminal […]

Rate at which judges tell respondents to turn in guns varies widely

new Maryland gun laws

It’s the law. When a final protective order is issued in Maryland, all respondents must turn in any guns they possess to the Sheriff’s Office for the duration of the order. The rate at which District Court judges are telling respondents to turn in their guns, however, varies dramatically. One judge last year told respondents […]

District Court judge fails to warn respondents to turn in firearms

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department has many important jobs. One of their most important tasks is making sure that respondents who possess firearms turn them into the Sheriff’s Office for the length of their final protective order. Judges also have an important role to play in reminding respondents of the gun turn-in requirement at the […]

Partner gun assault highlights key policy problems

partner gun violence

A Queen Anne’s County man was arrested this week on charges of attempted murder following an alleged physical assault that included threats to kill the survivor with a shotgun.  The woman’s partner fired at or near her, but she was not hit by the shot. The victim suffered repeated physical assault for almost two hours […]

“Write a different ending” portraits used in Annapolis hearing

It was nice to run into Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary (D-Howard) in Annapolis this week. She thanked me profusely for the 6 portraits of domestic violence homicide victims that we had sent her. Each defendant was disqualified from possessing a gun in Maryland, but had one. Del. Atterbeary held up the portraits during a Judiciary Committee hearing […]