Under federal law, individuals subject to temporary restraining orders, including those issued due to domestic abuse, are able to purchase firearms. But Senators Dick Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) have announced plans to introduce legislation next month that would effectively ban such individuals from obtaining firearms.
Individuals with permanent restraining orders are not lawfully allowed to purchase guns; however, in many domestic abuse cases, temporary restraining orders are issued for the time period between the permanent order’s application submission and the hearing to review it. As such, abusers may purchase weapons during the particularly unstable period immediately following the abuse incident, opening up the opportunity for further violence.
“It triggers emotion at that point,” said Detective Manmeet colon, who works with the New Haven Police Department’s Special Victims Unit. “If they are in possession of firearms and know they’re not mandated to turn them over to police, it’s a very volatile period.”
Blumenthal and Murphy’s proposed legislation would bar individuals with temporary restraining orders from both purchasing and possessing guns, thus alleviating the chance of possibly deadly retaliation and protecting abused individuals during vulnerable times.
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“Domestic disputes and guns are literally a fatal mix,” said Blumenthal. “The maximum point of danger for anybody in a relationship is when that person says to the other that they are separating.”