domestic violence

Advocates for Domestic Violence Victims Denounce Federal Appeals Court Ruling

A Texas court overturned the ruling that previously banned firearm possession by those with protective order against them.

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Connecticut state law prohibits people with restraining orders against them from possessing guns. However, a federal appeals court in Texas ruled that a federal law of that nature was unconstitutional.

On Monday, Connecticut state leaders had a strong reaction.

Attorney General William Tong vowed to protect the law in place here and called the Texas ruling a tragic decision.

Opening his news conference, the attorney general offered condolences to the family of Traci Jones, a domestic violence victim that was shot and killed by her husband in Bethel last month.

“We don’t need any more reminders of how important laws protecting victims of domestic violence are,” Tong said.

Reacting to a Texas federal appeals court decision, advocates for domestic violence victims gathered Monday. They denounced the ruling that would allow some people in a handful of southern states -- Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana -- to continue possessing guns, even with a protective order against them.

“The message it sends to survivors and victims, and their families was that they don’t deserve to be safe, and everyone deserves to be safe,” said Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence CEO Meghan Scanlon.

The Texas appeals court ruling overturned a federal law they say, “our ancestors would never have accepted.” Scanlon calls that “ludicrous.”

“What are we saying? Are we saying we want to go back instead of going forward?” she said.

In 2014, Lori Jackson was shot and killed by her husband in Oxford. Her mother, Merry, was also shot four times. Today, Merry advocates for victims and is speaking out against the Texas decision.

“It hurts every time I hear of another family going through what we went through,” Merry Jackson said. “It destroyed us.”

Following Lori's death, Connecticut’s law was modified. Since 2016, anyone with a protective order against them must forfeit their weapons. They have 24 hours to do so.

“You don’t want families to go through that,” Jackson said. “If you could take a gun out of a situation like that and let people cool down, it just may save a life.”

Lori's father was also in attendance Monday and expressed his support for Connecticut’s current law.

“It’s a commonsense law. It’s going to save lives, and it probably already has,” said Doug Jackson.

For now, the appeals court decision only affects Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, but Connecticut lawmakers say this could bring about conversations here.

In that case, they say they would steadfastly defend Connecticut’s current law protecting domestic violence victims.

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