Judge Roberto Cañas' Facebook page Judge Roberto Cañas says cutting down on gun possession by domestic violence offenders could save many lives in Dallas.
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.
The movement to crack down on domestic violence offenders' gun ownership has gained momentum since the murder of Karen Cox Smith in January 2013. After enduring more than 10 years of abuse by her husband, Cox was shot to death in a UT Southwestern parking garage by her husband, Ferdinand Smith. He had completed a period of probation for a domestic violence offense before the murder, and he owned a gun despite a state law that prohibited it.
Domestic abusers who accept plea bargains and are placed on probation may not possess firearms for the term of their probation plus five years. Smith's husband was one of many offenders who broke the rule.More »