Tara Currin’s ex-boyfriend, Robert Lee Harrison Jr., showed up at her job with a gun and shot her eight times in March 2022, even though he was legally barred from having firearms.
Harrison had three prior felony convictions, a misdemeanor conviction for domestic abuse and two active protective orders against him that should have kept him from possessing guns under state and federal laws. He also had two pending criminal charges against him for possessing a firearm after a prior felony conviction and was out of jail on bond.
If Currin had lived in one of 21 states with a red flag law, a judge could have ordered police to seize Harrison’s guns.
Here are five takeaways from The Frontier’s reporting on Currin’s case and how guns contribute to domestic violence in Oklahoma.
- Firearms have been the leading cause of domestic violence homicides in Oklahoma since 1998, according to state data.
- Guns accounted for 70% of domestic violence-related fatalities in Oklahoma in 2021, according to the most recent state numbers.
- Oklahoma’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board reviews deaths and makes policy recommendations to help protect victims. But the board hasn’t offered any changes to state gun laws.
- In 2020, Oklahoma enacted the nation’s first and only anti-red flag law. The law bans the state or any county or city from enacting a red flag law or accepting any grants to support red flag legislation.
- The Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control has ranked Oklahoma in its top 10 states for women murdered by men in 15 out of the past 25 years. Oklahoma is now ranked number two in the nation for women murdered by men.