FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Connecticut’s two senators were in town Wednesday, applauding a new state gun control law targeting domestic abusers and calling for similar measures at the federal level.
“The reality is every 16 hours in this country a women is shot and killed by her husband or boyfriend. And it only happens here (in the United States) …in the industrialized world.” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told about 40 people gathered for a Domestic Violence Awareness Month discussion at the Fairfield Police Department.
A state law went into effect this month that requires individuals to give up their guns and ammunition if a temporary restraining order is granted against them. Without federal action, however, nothing can stop an abuser from traveling across state lines to purchase lethal weapons, said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Victims of abuse are five times more likely to die if a gun is present, Blumenthal said.
“This loophole in the law should be closed,” he said.
The senators made appearances in Hartford and Fairfield to raise awareness of their efforts to pass the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, named for the Oxford mother who was shot and killed by her husband in 2014 as her two children were in the next room.
Jackson’s mother, Merry Jackson, was also injured in the incident and she and her husband Doug joined Murphy and Blumenthal on Wednesday.
Blumenthal said about 95 percent of Americans support “common sense” gun law reform, including the Jackson Act, a bill he introduced and Murphy co-sponsored. The bill would protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence by preventing an individual subject to a temporary restraining order from purchasing or possessing a firearm for the duration of the order.
Those gathered also heard from Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara, who explained the White Ribbon Campaign, in which men and boys sign a pledge to end violence against women and girls. He presented ribbons to the senators and those gathered.
Deb Greenwood, president of the Bridgeport-based Center for Family Justice, said her organization served 9,000 people last year alone. On a positive note, she said about half of those were children served by prevention education.
The center is holding domestic violence vigils in six communities this week and next with volunteers solemnly reading the names of the dozen people lost to domestic violence abuse in the last year.
While that’s down dramatically in recent years, Greenwood said, “One is too many.”
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