If he wins a second term, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy plans to advance a bill to remove firearms from recipients of temporary restraining orders. Malloy announced the bill during a West Hartford roundtable talk Wednesday.
Malloy is locked in a close re-election race against his 2010 Republican rival Tom Foley. Throughout the week he has been announcing proposals he will seek to pass if elected for a second term.
During a discussion on domestic violence at the West Hartford town offices, Malloy said he would seek to bar access to firearms from anyone who is the subject of a temporary restraining order.
The law currently leaves access to firearms in temporary restraining order cases up to a judge. A judge typically makes the decision at a hearing, which may be held two weeks after the initial order is issued.
“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,” Malloy said. “There is no longer a wait for a hearing. Let’s get it done.”
Karen Jarmoc, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, praised the proposal during Wednesday’s discussion. Jarmoc said women who have applied for restraining orders are at significant risk during the period when their former partner retains access to guns.
“This is the type of legislation that is going to save lives,” she said. “Different things get proposed along the way, but this is the real deal.”
Connecticut’s U.S. senators have pushed unsuccessfully to pass similar law at the federal level. They named their legislation for Lori Jackson, an Oxford resident who was shot to death by her estranged husband in May. Jackson had a temporary restraining order against her husband at the time.
Malloy said his proposal was also designed to remove barriers to women leaving violent relationships.
“The mere presence of a gun is a control that one person can use against another. It’s that kind of outstanding threat. So at this very dangerous time when somebody comes forward and says ‘Enough is enough,’ that control item — that button to be pushed needs to be removed,” he said. “. . .It’s relatively easy to return [a gun], un-firing a shot is a lot harder.”
Foley’s campaign was not immediately available to comment on the proposal, which was not among the recommendations Foley outlined in his nine-page plan.