HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited the Capitol Tuesday supporting a bill that aims to take guns away from accused abusers.
She said to a crowded room, “Women can lead the way. We stand for common sense. We stand for responsibility. We can change our laws. We can win elections. Please join your voice with mine.”
Joining Giffords was Oxford’s Merry Jackson, 64, who was shot 4 times in May of 2014. Her daughter, Lori Gellatly, 32, died.
“It’s something a mother shouldn’t have to go through,” said Jackson. “I have it in my mind that I think what happened when he started shooting me was she [Lori] lunged forward and she was saying don’t kill mommy. I think she through herself on top of me and saved me and took the bullets.”
She says her daughter believed her estranged husband, Scott, was a threat. So, Lori took filed a restraining order, but Scott bought a gun out of state and was resisting a warrant for his arrest. She said they were panic buttons around their neck the day he broke into their home and opened fire, but help didn’t arrive in time.
Jackson said, “We waited as he broke through two doors and we just stood there hugging each other.”
She continued, “I said to her we have nothing to protect ourselves and those were my last words to her. Her last words to me were, ‘please don’t kill mommy.”
They bill they’re supporting would take away firearms from anyone who has a restraining order filed against them for two weeks pending a hearing. She says it wouldn’t have saved Lori, but it could save others.
“We’re not trying infringe on anyone’s rights to carry a gun. It’s just getting them out of the hands of people who are dangerous,” said Jackson.
Critics say this bill is duplicative as police can seize guns immediately with a judge’s warrant. The Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League’s President Scott Wilson said, “With all due respect to Gabby Giffords and the horrific tragedy that she has survived, she is now just a tool in the hands of those who seek to eradicate our constitutionally protected rights.”
He said, “Legally owned firearms would be confiscated with no hearing until a date after the guns are seized”. “If a person with one of these temporary orders is cleared of any wrong-doing by a judge, confiscated firearms will probably not be returned for over two years. Some of these firearms in fact may never be returned to an individual”.