Federal court challenges Connecticut law protecting women against domestic violence

Federal court challenges domestic violence law in CT
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:27 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:57 AM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – A Connecticut law protecting women against domestic violence is under attack.

A federal appeals court has struck down a bill which allows guns to be temporarily taken away from those with a restraining order.

There is outrage over this federal court decision. The Connecticut law is intended to save lives. This, many fear, will put more women in danger.

“We are not powerless, not by a long shot, our lives are strong and constitutional and today they will keep people safe,” said Attorney General William Tong.

That legislation allows guns to be taken away within 24 hours if someone has a restraining order against order them.

“The courts and law enforcement and institutions that we uphold are here to keep you safe,” said Meghan Scanlon with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The 2016 law is named in honor of Lori Jackson. The Oxford mother of 2 was murdered by her husband the day before his court hearing on a restraining order. Her mother Merry Jackson was shot in the face.

“He was verbally abusive and then he pulled her away from all of her friends and it just kept getting worse he was controlling and then the anger started,” said Jackson.

Women between the ages of 25 and 44 make up nearly half of all intimate partner murders in Connecticut.

“Right now, Connecticut’s law and all the laws across the country remain on the books. They have legal effect and can be enforced but it’s only a matter of time maybe days before somebody goes to court and seeks to challenge Connecticut’s law. And at that point all bets are off,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Connecticut lawmakers say this action by the appeals court is not a legal statement but a political one, and that women are 5 times more likely to die if there is a gun on the home.

Connecticut domestic violence advocates plan to take a stand Monday morning to protest a federal court decision they say will put victims in danger.
Connecticut advocates today will argue that domestic violence victims with restraining orders will be in danger if their abusers still have access to guns.