Lawmakers approve bill that takes guns away after restraining or - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers approve bill that takes guns away after restraining order is issued

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CT lawmakers spent Wednesday night debating a bill that supporters say would protect victims of domestic violence. (WFSB) CT lawmakers spent Wednesday night debating a bill that supporters say would protect victims of domestic violence. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

On Wednesday night, state legislators were involved in a fiery debate centered on a bill that supporters say protects domestic violence abuse victims.

Critics of the bill said it tramples all over the Second Amendment.

The bill was approved late Wednesday night by the House of Representatives. The bill requires subjects of temporary restraining orders to hand over their guns. The bill passed 102-44, with 4 not voting.

Karen Jarmoc is a supporter of the bill and has dedicated much of her adult life to protecting domestic violence survivors, but she can’t help but dwell on the victims who slipped through the cracks.

“That's just such a heartbreaking story for her whole family,” Jarmoc, of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence said, as she remembered Lori Gellatly Jackson.

Jackson was an Oxford mother who was murdered by her estranged husband, Scott Gellatly in 2014, even after she filed a temporary restraining order against him.

“You're talking about a bright woman, a mom, a sister, a daughter who was doing everything she could to stay safe and he still managed to kill her,” Jarmoc said.

Her memory is one reason Jarmoc supports a bill that would ban people with a temporary restraining order against them from possessing guns.

“We know that by removing firearms at this time, it will save lives,” Jarmoc said.

Under the bill, the subject of a temporary restraining order would have 24 hours to hand their firearms over to a gun dealer or police. Then an expedited hearing would be called within seven days.

“When a restraining order is issued that is normally the most volatile time where people are most emotional and bad things can happen,” said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey.

However, not every legislator backs the bill.

Republican State Rep. Rob Sampson said he feels the proposal would not be effective and said it threatens to violate the Second Amendment and due process.

“This bill basically takes this all away. It’s up to the courts discretion and it's based on just a one-sided accusation by another party,” Sampson said.

Jarmoc said she was cautiously optimistic that the bill would pass, which it did.

“Hopefully it will give everyone some comfort that justice is served in some way,” Jarmoc said.

The bill will now go to the Senate to be voted on. If the Senate passes the bill it will move on to the governor's office.

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