WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Lawmakers and advocates of stricter gun laws unveiled a bill Friday aimed at keeping firearms from abusers.
The Lori Jackson –Nicolette Elias Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act is named for two women — Lori Jackson from Oxford, Connecticut, and Nicolette Elias from Portland, Oregon — who were both shot and killed by their abusive, estranged partners even after securing emergency restraining orders, state officials said.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined Interval House’s Mary Jane Foster and West Hartford Police Chief Vernon Riddick at a 10 a.m. press conference at the West Hartford Police Department.
The legislation plans to restrict those under emergency restraining orders from purchasing or possessing a firearm and would extend protections to domestic violence survivors whom their partners have abused.
“Every single month there are 70 women in this country who are shot and killed by their partner,” Blumenthal said.
According to state leaders, there are already some protection measures in place in Connecticut but they’re looking to implement more.
“Whenever any restraining order or any protective order is issued whether temporary or permanent the abuser is separated from the gun,” Blumenthal said.
The bill would also establish a new grant program to help state and local governments implement policies that keep firearms out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators while they are subject to a temporary or emergency restraining order.
These policies include requiring domestic violence abusers to surrender or sell any firearm or ammunition in their possession, revoking their permit or license to purchase, possess or carry a firearm or ammunition while the restraining order is in effect, and requiring that a background check to be performed before any firearm or ammunition is returned to the person subject to the restraining order.
“Because we are so casual in this country about allowing dangerous people, at dangerous moments to have guns, our country is the place where domestic violence turns lethal,” Murphy said.
Murphy and Blumenthal said that the next step will be to reach out across the aisle for bipartisan support.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.