June 1, 2015 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), issued the below statement today urging Connecticut’s leaders to act on H.B. 6848, a proposal that would close the loophole in state law that lets individuals subject to temporary, ‘ex parte’ restraining orders legally buy and own guns, before the end of the legislative session. Congresswoman Giffords’ statement:
“During my visits to Connecticut, I was moved by the stories of domestic violence survivors and public safety officials calling for life-saving protections for vulnerable women and their families. I was also inspired by the leaders of the legislature who stood with me and committed they would prohibit abusers subject to temporary restraining orders from accessing guns – a law that could have protected Lori Jackson. There is never a better time than now to pass a law that will save a life. I urge Speaker Sharkey and President Looney to move quickly to send a bill to Governor Malloy.”
Congresswoman Giffords has traveled to Connecticut twice in the last eight months to meet with leaders in the Connecticut legislature and domestic violence prevention community to discuss the nexus of gun violence against women and families, and to call for action on this bill and other commonsense proposals, which would make Connecticut a safer place to live. Click here and here to read more.
Connecticut law currently prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person who knows that he or she is subject to a restraining or protective order that was issued after notice and following an opportunity to be heard in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person. But state law currently does not prohibit gun possession of a firearm by a person subject to an “ex-parte” protective order, a loophole that the bill would close.
The nexus of gun violence and domestic violence in Connecticut and around the country gained renewed focus by advocates and policymakers after the tragic death of Lori Jackson, a Connecticut resident who was shot and killed by her husband after she had obtained a temporary restraining order against him.
Like the rest of the country, there is an often lethal link between domestic violence situations and an abuser’s access to firearms. Between 2000 and 2011, 175 people in the state of Connecticut were killed by an intimate partner, and 38 percent of these homicides were committed with a gun. In 2010, more than 90 percent of Connecticut domestic violence homicide victims were women.
Nationally, women in the U.S. are 11 times likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other developed countries, and more than half of all murders of America’s women are committed with a gun. Abused women are also five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm.