Press Release

STATEMENT: Retired ATF Special Agent David Chipman Responds to Deaths of Three Law Enforcement Officers in Ohio and South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2018
CONTACT: Jason Phelps,

Washington, DC — Two Westerville police officers were fatally shot in the line of duty in a Columbus, Ohio, suburb on Saturday when they were responding to what authorities are reporting as a “potential domestic” violence situation. Earlier that same day, an Oglala Sioux Tribal police officer was shot and killed during an apparent domestic dispute in South Dakota.

Guns and domestic violence are a deadly mix. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser owns a firearm, and domestic violence assaults involving a firearm are 12 times more likely to end in death than other types of assaults. But it’s not just the victims of domestic violence that are put in harms way when an abuser has access to a firearm. When responding to calls for help, domestic disputes are the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the line of duty.

David Chipman, Senior Policy advisor at Giffords and a retired ATF Special Agent of 25 years issued the following statement:

“All too often, responding to a domestic violence incident leads to gun violence, like the tragic events that happened yesterday in Ohio and South Dakota where officers were shot and killed while serving their communities. Our nation’s gun laws make it too easy for dangerous people, like domestic abusers, to get their hands on guns and start a shootout with officers trying to keep people safe.

“While the frequency with which these shootings happen is alarming – we can never accept them as normal. Keeping our families, law enforcement and communities safe will only be possible when our lawmakers at the local, state, and federal level finally acknowledge this problem and pass laws that prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on guns.

“In his recent State of the Union Address, President Trump called on Congress to show our nation’s law enforcement officers ‘total and unwavering support.’ If the president is serious about putting his words into action he can start by listening to every major law enforcement organization and oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a proposal that makes it more difficult for police officers to do their jobs and keep our communities safe.”


Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.