Vice President Biden and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday will unveil a new domestic violence initiative and award $2.3 million in grant money as part of a new effort to reduce gun violence, reports the Washington Post. At an event in Maryland, Biden and Holder plan to introduce the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, a Justice Department program modeled after state initiatives in Maryland and Massachusetts and intended to help municipalities monitor high-risk offenders and identify potential victims.
The aim is to identify women who may be in potentially fatal abusive relationships and connect them with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, court personnel and other service providers in a position to protect them. Twelve jurisdictions will get one-year grants of as much as $200,000. Forty percent of mass shootings in the past three years started with the gunman targeting his girlfriend, wife or ex-wife, officials said. Federal law prohibits domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms, but not every state requires background checks for gun purchases, meaning that many offenders are still able to buy guns.