ROB CAÑAS IN THE NEWS
“Dallas County has a new policy for gun owners and domestic abusers: You can’t be both.
Officials began confiscating guns from certain domestic batterers Tuesday, with the launch of a new program that requires them to turn in their weapons at a local gun range.
The long-awaited program becomes the most comprehensive effort in Texas to take guns away from abusers and one of the only firearm-surrender strategies in the country to rely on private storage, according to domestic violence experts. They lauded the new project as a creative, lifesaving move for abuse victims.”
“Dallas County Judge Roberto Cañas has a grim job: He presides over a county criminal court that specifically sees domestic violence cases. While Cañas does not hear felony cases, he sees plenty people come through his court whom he worries would be more than capable of more violent acts. This fear that has led him to become a local spokesman for the movement to enforce a hard-to-enforce law—requiring domestic violence offenders to surrender their guns.”
“AALM: What court do you preside over and how long have you held that position?
Cañas: I am the judge of County Criminal Court #10 and I have been a judge for almost nine years. My court handles only domestic violence cases. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice named my court a Domestic Violence Mentor court, one of only six in the nation. This means that my court exhibits best practices for handling these types of cases. I am also on the faculty of the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence and train judges around the county on domestic violence issues. I am very proud of these accomplishments.”
“DALLAS - On Monday, Cedric Anderson walked into an elementary school in San Bernardino, California, where he shot and killed his estranged wife and an 8-year-old student.
Anderson had a history of domestic violence and weapons charges.
'A victim of domestic violence is 500 times more likely to be injured when there is a gun in the home,' said Paige Flink, of The Family Place.
Dallas Judge Roberto Cañas, who mainly hears domestic violence cases, is making it his mission to take weapons off domestic violence suspects.”
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“Domestic abuse convicts in Texas are forbidden from possessing firearms under both federal and state law. But until now, there was no system in place to collect those offenders’ guns.
This month, Dallas County is set to become the first in the state to collect and store weapons taken from domestic abusers, according to local ABC affiliate WFAA. Officials predict that up to 700 guns each year will be taken and stored at a private gun range that volunteered to provide the storage space.”
“Domestic abusers in Dallas County have surrendered just 60 guns since 2015 under a program designed to disarm thousands of violent offenders.
That's a tiny fraction of the 700 to 800 firearms county officials expected to collect each year when the initiative launched two years ago.
State and federal law prohibits convicted abusers and anyone subject to a protective order from owning a gun. But the law does not dictate what they do with those weapons.”
“Austin, Texas – June 16, 2016– This Father’s Day, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) celebrates fathers who devote their lives to building safer communities for their kids and by doing so, impact future generations to come. These dads lead by example, inspiring us all to envision a Texas free of violence—and strive tirelessly to accomplish this goal. They are remarkable leaders in their professional lives, and remarkable fathers at home.”
“As I sit down to write this article, it has been about ten days since four women lost their lives in a domestic violence incident that threw the cities of Dallas and DeSoto into a state of shock. I am sure that event would have galvanized more of a community response if domestic violence murders were rarer events.
To offer some perspective, on September 11, 2001 over 3,000 Americans lost their lives in a terroristic attack and look how our country responded. Every year, over 3,000 American women lose their lives to intimate partners in domestic violence incidents but the response to this fact can barely be felt or seen.”