WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) has joined his colleagues to introduce the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, a bill that 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.
The bill was named after Lori Jackson, a Connecticut resident who was shot and killed by her husband after obtaining a temporary restraining order against him.
"Today’s legislation will close loopholes that allow abusive partners access to guns in the hours and days when tempers are at their highest following a domestic argument," Durbin said.
Current federal law protects domestic violence survivors from gun violence by preventing their abusers from purchasing or possessing a firearm – but only once the court has issued a permanent restraining order. This leaves survivors unprotected exactly when they are in the most danger: when a domestic abuser first learns his or her victim has left and only a temporary restraining order is in place. In addition, the current definition of "intimate partner" used to prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence from purchasing or possessing a firearm includes spouses, former spouses, people with a child in common and cohabitants. However, there are many survivors of dating violence who were never married, do not live with their abuser, and have no children. The Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act would close these loopholes in federal law, thereby protecting millions of women and men nationwide.
A home that has a history of domestic violence and where an abuser owns a gun has a 20 times higher risk of homicide. In addition, more than 3 times as many women are murdered by guns used by their intimate partners than are murdered by strangers using a gun, knife, or any other weapon combined. Consequently, disarming individuals subject to restraining orders effectively decreases gun violence. In fact, the 17 states that passed laws prohibiting individuals subject to all restraining orders from purchasing or possessing a gun saw a 19 percent drop in overall intimate partner homicides. The Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act would establish these laws nationwide.