The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, often called "the Lautenberg Amendment," prohibits persons convicted of (or knowingly pleading to) misdemeanor domestic violence (DV) from possessing firearms. Many people are charged with DV, but often through various legal actions their charge can be modified through plea bargaining to some other, often lesser charge, such as disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace. When the original charge is changed to something other than DV, the Lautenburg prohibition may no longer apply. Circumventing the letter and spirit of Lautenburg has become a legal specialty, and this must stop.
The best predictor of DV homicide is a prior history of DV. DV contributes to the death of spouses, children, bystanders, and law enforcement personnel. At least half of spousal homicides are the result of guns. The data have been clear for many years that guns and people prone to violence do not belong together, and the wise intent of Lautenburg was to prevent them from coexisting.
I believe it is proper for legislators at the federal level to consider amending Lautenberg or, at the state level, the ARS Criminal Code such that its provisions are codified to apply universally to anyone charged with DV even when the eventual plea is to a different/lesser charge. Furthermore, I believe it would be beneficial for prosecutors to carefully evaluate whether to participate in DV plea-bargaining in the first place. In all cases where a child is harmed or threatened, plea bargains should never be tolerated.