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Disrupting the Cycle of Violence: Prosecuting Domestic Violence Offenders in Possession of a Firearm

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2020
12 pages

This brief – one in a series that address leading victim services – describes the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of a Western District of Oklahoma (WDOK) in designing and implementing a strategy of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) that prosecutes “domestic violence-derived” cases of violent crime by enforcing federal gun laws that prohibit specific individuals from possessing firearms or ammunition.


Called Operation 922, this effort focuses on domestic violence offenders who are subject to a Victim Protection Order (VPO), or who have been previously convicted of a misdemeanor domestic-violence crime. This dual focus of Operation 922 is not only removing violent offenders from the community but is also protecting current and potential victims of domestic violence. This brief examines the threat that Operation 922 aims to address, describes Operation 922 strategies, reports on its impact, and draws lessons for PSN teams in other districts considering the development of similar strategies in their districts. The brief reports that Operation 922 is having an impact on the prosecution of violent offenders, protections for victims of domestic violence, and documented statewide indicators of domestic violence. Known violent offenders are being charged with, found guilty of, and sentenced for illegal gun possession. A table presents a summary of case outcomes of cases developed by Operation 922 since its launching in March 2018. 1 table and 1 figure