Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Persons under certain domestic violence restraining orders are prohibited by federal law from purchasing and possessing a firearm. Little is known about their gun purchases. Using administrative data from one U.S. state, we linked 794,426 restraining orders with 1,388,724 handgun purchase applications. Findings suggest that restrained persons are not a less law abiding group in general, but they appear to be repeatedly or serially abusive to intimate partners. Their handgun purchase rates were highest after the order expired.


Postprint version.

Vittes, K. A., & Sorenson, S. B. (2008). Keeping guns out of the hands of abusers: Handgun purchases and restraining orders. American Journal of Public Health, 98(5), 828-831. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.124115



Date Posted: 11 July 2013

This document has been peer reviewed.