To the editor:
Ebony’s estranged boyfriend came to the bingo parlor where she was hanging out. He said, “If I can’t have her, you can’t have her, either,” then shot Ebony to death. He was arrested just 10 days earlier for severely beating Ebony. He had a prior conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence, but under South Carolina law, he was still legally allowed to own firearms.
Connecticut has its own illogical gun law. An alleged abuser subject to a temporary restraining order (TRO) is allowed to possess guns even though the legal standard for issuing a TRO is that the victim faces “immediate and present physical harm.” During 2015, there were more than 40,000 reported incidents of domestic violence in Connecticut. In 2014, the TRO loophole arguably cost Lori Jackson of Oxford her life. The day before the hearing to consider making her TRO permanent, Lori’s estranged husband shot and killed her.
Opponents claim abusers will find other ways to kill their partners. Perhaps. But the fact is domestic assaults with guns are 12 times more likely to result in death than when other weapons are used. Governor Malloy understands this. He introduced a bill to close the TRO loophole: HB5054, an act to protect victims of domestic violence. The bill has been cleared to go to the General Assembly for a vote, which could come any day.
Last month, Americans for Responsible Solutions commissioned a survey of Connecticut voters: 86 percent of us believe abusers under restraining orders, temporary or permanent, should not have access to guns. Sadly, most Republican and some Democratic lawmakers believe otherwise.
If you believe abusers should not have guns please contact your state senator and representative to vote yes on HB5054.
HB5054 will disarm abusers quickly and within established legal safeguards. Tell your legislators you’re one of the #CT86percent who believe domestic abusers should not have firearms.
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