Domestic Violence 

A Matter of Life and Death: Reporting Protective Orders and Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence






The November 5, 2017 mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, which left 26 people dead and 20 others injured, involved a perpetrator with a history of domestic violence. This case demonstrated the serious consequences that can result from the lack of proper reporting of records that are checked by the National Instant Criminal Background System. Unfortunately, many states including Texas do not label these domestic violence crimes as such, causing delays or failure in making timely firearm transfer determinations. In addition, the process of identifying certain protective orders using a Brady indicator is not required and is inconsistent. According to the Government Accountability Office, of the 20,738 Texas protective orders in the National Crime Information Center Protection Order File in 2015, only 2,169 protective orders had a Brady indicator.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to discuss the following: 

  • Prevalence and dynamics of family violence in Texas.
  • Safety concerns of failure to report.
  • Criteria for the federal prohibition against firearm possession by persons convicted of a MCDV.
  • Obstacles to protective order reporting to TCIC.
  • Participants in the reporting process.



  • Kimberly Piechowiak, Domestic Violence Training Attorney, Office of Court Administration