2015 Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet: Modification of

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

 What the Proposal Does

  • The proposal would modify the current process for removal of firearms from persons who are the subject of temporary Domestic Violence restraining orders.
    • The modification would require that a subject of a restraining order immediately surrender any guns or ammunition owned or possessed in cases where there is the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person.

The Problem

  • Firearms accounted for the murder of 100 women in CT from 2002 to 2011.[1]
  • Access to a gun in an abusive relationship makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed.[2]
  • The period immediately following a victim’s application for a restraining order is the most dangerous time.[3]
  • On May 7, 2014, in Oxford CT, Scott Gellatly, 46, a subject of a restraining order applied for by his wife, entered the home of his mother-in-law, shot and killed his wife, Lori Gellatly, 32. He also shot and seriously injured his mother-in-law, Mary Jackson. The couple’s twin toddlers were in the house at the time. Scott Gellatly was supposed to surrender all his firearms under the order issued April 25. The killing came a day before a court hearing on whether to extend the restraining order.[4]

Conclusions

  • Women who have applied for restraining orders are at significant risk during the period before the hearing when their former partner retains access to guns.
  • According to news reports, Governor Malloy has said, “What we’re saying is, if it’s bad enough to justify a restraining order being issued, it’s bad enough to take the additional precaution of making sure that the weapons . . . can no longer be accessed.”

Keeping domestic violence offenders from obtaining firearms is an evidence-based way to protect women.

[1]http://www.ctcadv.org/files/1614/2082/6259/Firearms_and_Domestic_Violence_Policy_Brief_12.14rev.pdf

[2] Campbell, Jacquelyn C., et al., Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multistate Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health 93, No.7, July 2003, pp. 1089-1097.

[3] http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-jarmoc-firearms-in-domestic-violence-0106-20150105-story.html

[4] http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20140507/woman-killed-in-oxford-domestic-dispute-husband-charged-with-murder

 

 Fact Sheet: HB 6962: An Act Concerning Firearm Safety

What the Bill Does

  • The bill would modify the current statutes regarding safe storage of firearms in the following ways:
    • A person would be guilty of criminally negligent storage of a firearm (not just a loaded firearm) if any person obtains the firearm and causes the injury or death of himself or any other person. Current statute limits the offense to loaded firearms obtained by minors, persons prohibited from possessing firearms, or persons posing imminent personal risk.

The Problem

  • According to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in two-thirds of the nation’s school shootings, including here at Sandy Hook Elementary, the attackers used guns from their home or a relative’s residence.
  • At the recent rampage at Marysville-Pilchuck high School in Washington State, news reports stated that the 40 caliber Beretta handgun used by Jaylen Fryberg to kill three high school teenagers and himself was legally purchased and owned by Jason’s father.
  • Unintentional injuries from firearms represent less than two percent of all firearm deaths in the U.S. But of this two percent, children and adolescents are involved in 55% of these deaths. The majority of the injuries occur to children playing with or showing the weapons to friends. The easy availability of firearms is believed to be the number one risk factor for unintentional firearm deaths.[1]
  • The preponderance of current evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for youth suicide in the United States.[2]

Conclusion

Restricting the unauthorized obtaining and harmful use to only “loaded” firearms does not suffice as an adequate limitation. Nor does limiting persons who obtain firearms in an unauthorized way to only those who meet certain characteristics adequately protect the public and adequately encourage safe storage. How they use that negligently stored firearm is the danger to the public safety, not the characteristics of the person gaining possession as perceived by the firearm owner who has not properly stored the firearm.

[1] http://www.childdeathreview.org/causesaf.htm

[2] Miller, Matthew; Hemenway, David. The relationship between firearms and suicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 1999; 4:59-75. iller, Matthew; Hemenway, David. Gun prevalence and the risk of suicide: A review. Harvard Health Policy Review. 2001; 2:29-37.