Press Release

New Poll: 86% of Connecticut Voters Support Closing Loophole That Let’s People Subject to Temporary Restraining Orders Legally Buy Guns

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A recent survey of Connecticut voters conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired Navy combat veteran and astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, finds that 86 percent of Connecticut voters support closing the loopholes that allow people under temporary restraining orders to legally buy and own guns.

The new research comes as a proposal to close that loophole in state law, HB 5054, is being heard today in the Judiciary Committee

A memo on the new research can be found here.

While Connecticut law currently prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person who knows that he or she is subject to a permanent restraining or protective order, state law currently does not prohibit gun possession of a firearm by a person subject to a temporary, or “ex-parte,” protective order.

HB 5054 would close that loophole so people subject to “ex-parte” protective order would no longer have legal access to firearms.

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.

“Connecticut’s legislators now have yet more evidence that their constituents support commonsense changes to the state’s laws that close dangerous loopholes, help keep guns out of the wrong hands, and make Connecticut a safer place to live,” said Hayley Zachary, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions. “As Connecticut’s elected leaders debate how to make their communities safer, let’s hope they keep in mind the strong, broad support among their constituents for this responsible legislation that will save lives. Commonsense steps like keeping guns out of the hands of people subject to temporary restraining orders won’t prevent every tragedy, but it will prevent some – and the people of Connecticut agree that’s worth it.”

Congresswoman Giffords traveled to Connecticut last year 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 issue and other commonsense proposals. Click here and here to read more.

As in the rest of the country, there is an often lethal link between domestic violence situations and an abuser’s access to firearms in Connecticut. 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.