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April 3, 2020

No guns for spousal abusers

County to beef up enforcement of court orders

Santa Clara County supervisors this week approved the creation of a five-person “County Gun Team” to enforce the court-ordered removal of guns from people with restraining orders for domestic violence.

Under the leadership of Santa Clara County Board President Cindy Chavez and the District Attorney’s Office, the supervisors voted unanimously to take new steps to close enforcement gaps in protective orders  mandating the removal firearms from persons with domestic violence and temporary restraining orders.

At the news conference on Feb. 24, Cindy Chavez, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Marisa McKeown, supervising deputy district attorney of the DA’s Crime Strategies Unit, endorsed the proposal to allocate nearly $900,000 to create a  “County Gun Team.”

Chavez in 2018 found that in Santa Clara County there was a need for increased leadership over the enforcement of the protective orders and removal of guns in domestic violence cases.

At the time, she found a lack of coordination to resolve the issue.

The funding proposal approved Feb. 25 adds approximately $427,000 in new funding and designates nearly $470,000 in existing funding to hire a lawyer, criminal investigator and three crime analysts for the new team.

Chavez reported that in Santa Clara County the three biggest court-ordered gun prohibitions include:

  • 6,000 felons a year ordered not to have guns
  • 3,000 criminal domestic violence protective orders a year ordered to not have guns
  • 1,600 family court domestic violence restraining orders a year ordered not to have guns 

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