Most voters are probably unaware of State Senator Art Linares, Jr. (R-33)’s recent vote against a law to protect battered women. Here are the facts.
In Connecticut, between one and two women are murdered on average every month by their domestic partners. Evidence shows that women in abusive relationships are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to firearms.
The most dangerous period for a battered woman is right after she seeks help. Previously the law allowed the removal of firearms from a household after the victim obtains a permanent restraining order, but this left a dangerous gap—the period after a woman seeks help but before a protective order is granted.
In May, a law was passed to close this loophole. It authorizes a court to require an alleged abuser to temporarily relinquishes his firearm. A full hearing is required on a restraining order within seven days. If a permanent order is not granted, the gun owner immediately gets his firearms back. More than 20 other states have similar laws.
The new law passed with broad bipartisan support. It was favored by a tidal wave of testimony from, among others, the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Connecticut, leaders of the police community, and a host of women’s advocacy groups.
Linares voted against this law. He voted against the Newtown gun safety law, too, which his own party’s leadership supported. In both cases, Linares toed the line of the NRA, which has given him its top “A” rating.
We are dismayed that Linares places so little value on the importance of protecting women and the most vulnerable among us.
We are voting and urge others to vote for Norm Needleman (D) in the upcoming election to serve as our next 33rd District state senator, representing our values.
Stacia Rice Libbi
Loretta T. McCluskey