A tearful Merry Jackson, whose daughter was killed in a domestic violence incident last month, stood beside Sen. Richard Blumenthal Monday, as he pushed new legislation that would prevent individuals subject to a temporary restraining order from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
Jackson lost her daughter, Lori Gellatly, on May 7, when she was allegedly shot and killed by her husband Scott Gellatly. Jackson was also wounded in the incident at her Oxford home.
“He came into my house and shot myself and killed my daughter, and this might have been able to be prevented,” said Jackson.
According to the Jacksons, Lori Gellatly had applied for a restraining order after her marriage fell apart. In that application Lori described Scott’s actions as violent and said “I am afraid for my kids and myself.”
The application was approved, but the order was only temporary.
“A loophole in the law prevented her protection,” said Blumenthal.
With the introduction of the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, Blumenthal aims to close that loophole. If passed, the bill will establish consistent, nationwide protection prohibiting possession of purchase of guns by those subject to a restraining order.
According to Blumenthal, such laws already exist in 17 states but without a national approach, he fears little will change.
“Scott was able to obtain his weapon from out of state, is what we understand. So even if we pass something in Connecticut, it is really the measure that the senator is proposing that would be the most meaningful,” said Karen Jarmoc, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“If this passed, his name would come up that there was a restraining order against him. He would not have been able to buy that gun,” said Jackson.
Blumenthal wants the same rules that apply in the case of permanent restraining orders to apply to temporary orders. So do the Jacksons. In their mind, it could have made all the difference.
Scott Gellatly has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.