Judiciary Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-650

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.

Vote Date:

4/11/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/11/2015

File No.:

754

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Judiciary Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

Senator Looney introduced this issue to the Judiciary Committee. As it stands currently, in abuse cases, firearms can't be confiscated until after a hearing takes place and a permanent restraining order is issued.

Proposed Substitute:

Amendment “A” In line 68, after “order”, add the following: “except that, if the court issues an ex parte order against a respondent, who is a peace officer as defined in section 53a-3, such hearing shall be held not later that five days from the date of the order”.

Amendment “B” states that pistol permits, eligibility certificates for pistol or revolver, ammunition and long gun must be reinstated upon the expiration of such order. Such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that the terms of such order have expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such certificate pursuant to section 29-38n, the department shall reinstate the certificate revoked pursuant to this section.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Division of Criminal Justice: Supports this bill. This bill addresses topics that were studied by the task force established by the General Assembly. The task force recommendations would benefit victims and ensure that more restraining orders are served. By permitting police to serve the orders, a greater number will be successfully served, and, in cases where guns are in the home or registered to the respondent, such service should be accomplished in a safer manner as state marshals currently do not have access to the data bases that show firearms registered to the respondent.

Permanent Commission on the Status of Women: Supports this bill. This bill would require that if an “immediate and present physical danger is determined by the court and an applicant indicates that a respondent has a firearm or ammunition, that law enforcement be responsible for serving the ex parte order. This bill would also allow the court to remove firearms, ammunition, and gun permits/eligibility certificates during an ex parte restraining order.

Connecticut State Attorney General, George Jepsen: Supports this bill. Victims of domestic violence are most at risk when they first take steps to seek protection from their abusers. Because offenders may take extreme measures to regain control over their victims, this is a crucial time to ensure they do not have access to firearms and ammunition. This bill would require persons against whom ex parte temporary restraining orders have been issued, in cases involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, to temporarily surrender or transfer any firearms or ammunition in their possession no less than 24 hours after receiving notice that such an order has been issued.

State Victim Advocate, Natasha M. Pierre: Supports this bill. This bill will improve the application and service process as it will allow the court to extend a temporary restraining order if the applicant is present for the subsequent hearing but the order has not yet been served. Further, in cases where the applicant has indicated on the application that the respondent has access to a firearm or ammunition, the proposal will require a sworn police officer to provide service of the order and will allow the court to order the respondent to temporarily transfer, deliver or surrender all firearms and ammunition that he or she possesses, along with any permit or eligibility certificate.

Judicial Branch, External Affairs Division, Stephen N. Ment: Takes no position on the larger policy question of whether sworn police officers should serve TRO's. We would like to clarify on item (2) which would “allow a court to extend such order if the applicant is present for the subsequent hearing fourteen days after issuance but the order has not yet been served.” This language contemplates that the hearings are 14 days after issuance; however, Section 46b-15 of the General Statutes requires the court to order that a hearing on the application be held not later than fourteen days from the date of the order. So, the hearings need to be scheduled within 14, which means that it is not always exactly 14 days after the date of the order.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

State Senator, Martin M. Looney: Supports this bill. This bill contains a number of proposals intended to better protect victims of domestic violence and improve the service of temporary restraining orders throughout our state.

City of Bridgeport May, Bill Finch: Supports this bill. The truth is simple: We need to get guns out of the hands of people who use them to harm others. The period shortly after a domestic violence incident is some of the most dangerous for victims. This leaves them vulnerable to another violent and sometimes fatal attack. This bill would take guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Karen Jarmoc, CEO: Supports this bill. The CCADV recommends a proposal that the individual's firearm permits and eligibility certificates not be removed as part of this proposal. The process to get a permit returned from the State Board of Firearms Permit Examiners can be somewhat lengthy and it is not our intent for someone who only has firearms and ammunition removed for two weeks to then have to wait months to get their permit back. It is our understanding that should this proposal of removal at ex parte be adopted, an individual who becomes ineligible to posses firearms or ammunition during the ex parte order would be flagged in the State's protective order registry which is checked as part of the background check in Connecticut when someone attempts to purchase a weapon.

Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Allison Roach: Supports this bill. Testimony was submitted expressing agreement with the testimony submitted by Karen Jarmoc of the

CCADV above.

State Marshal AFSCME Local 2193, Mark D'Angelis, President: Supports this bill. We agree that police officers delivering orders to households in which it is indicated that a gun is present. Marshals would continue to deliver service on all other restraining orders.

Center for Gun Policy and Research: Expressed neither support nor opposition to this bill. They did submit a fact sheet with statistics pertaining to gun violence in instances of domestic violence.

Center for Family Justice, Angela Schlingheyde: Supports this bill. The Center submitted a fact sheet to reinforce their support for the bill.

Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, Lee R. Schliesinger, Executive Director: Supports this bill. Currently 33 states (including Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) authorize law enforcement or, where applicable, county sheriffs, to serve temporary restraining orders. Under the current system, if service cannot be successfully made 5 days prior to the hearing and the respondent does not show up for the hearing, the ex parte order is dropped and the victims must reapply for the restraining order, often leaving the victim with the feeling that the system simply cannot help.

Sarah Raskin: Supports this bill. As a neuropsychologist and Professor at Trinity College,

my work involves research to improve the lives of people with brain injury. According to the most recent data, when women are the victims of homicide, they are killed by someone they know. Most often, these homicides are by an intimate partner in the course of an argument, not a stranger in a dark alley. Just having a gun in the home increases a woman's chance of being murdered during a domestic dispute by nearly three times. At the moment when a woman decides to leave and asks for a temporary restraining order she is the most vulnerable. We must restrict people who are the subject of temporary restraining orders from possessing firearms and ammunition.

National Physicians Alliance, Julie R. Rosenbaum MD,FACP: Supports this bill. An ex parte restraining order with removal of firearms and ammunition from the respondents during this time period should serve as extra protection for the applicant from those who are reasonably thought to pose risk.

Kirsten Bechtel MD, Pina Violano, MSPH,RN-BC,CCRN, Yale School of Medicine: Support this bill. There have been innumerous events in this state that have resulted in serious injuries and deaths due to gun violence in cases of domestic violence and improperly stored or handled firearms in the presence of children. This bill being proposed should strengthen our State's ability to protect those at risk groups.

Daniela Bellows, Family Violence Victim Advocate: Supports this bill. Victims of domestic violence know the patterns of their abusers better than anyone. Recently while assisting a victim, he explained to me that this was his third time filing, as his abuser was skilled at avoiding the marshal. He guessed correctly that the respondent would simply not open the door for the marshal, guaranteeing a lack of in hand service and lack of notice for the hearing date. Having a police officer serve notice may help alleviate this problem.

Barbara Bellucci: Supports this bill. As a Family Violence Victim Advocate, the ex parte phase of a TRO can be an especially dangerous time for both the applicant and those who are authorized to effectuate service- especially when the respondent is in possession of a firearm and/or ammunition. This bill would allow law enforcement to serve any TRO's under such circumstances. I would take this concept one step further and authorize law enforcement to serve any TRO's at the request of the applicant.

Ann Colloton: Supports this bill. Twenty other states have statutes similar to that being proposed here that allow firearms to be removed after an ex parte restraining order has been issued, and those states saw a 12-13% reduction in intimate partner homicides. This law has been shown to save lives.

Rev. Julie Fewster: Supports this bill. As you know the time a restraining order is issued is the most dangerous time for the one seeking that restraining order. Women in an abusive relationship are five times more likely to be killed if the abuser has access to a firearm. This bill would shorten the time the abuser would have access to a weapon.

Devon Fagel, MD,JD: Supports this bill. Fagel submitted an essay detailing the reason why the legislature should pass this bill. He enumerated several instances where the failure of the government to enact laws against what was thought to be acceptable and harmless, which in retrospect were very harmful to people. He doesn't deny the individual right to keep and bear arms. However, the founder did not intend this right to be free of any and all regulation and restriction.

Constance El Frontis: Supports this bill. This bill would allow police officers to serve TRO's. The method of service should not depend upon whether the victim has indicated on the application that the respondent has weapons. We should assume that the victim, in many circumstances, will not disclose the presence of weapons because it is too dangerous to do so. The police are already asked by marshals to accompany them whenever there are safety concerns and with police making service, turnover of weapons could be effectuated at the same time as service.

James A. Greer,II: Supports this bill. Domestic violence involving firearms is a serious, ongoing problem in Connecticut. The Hartford Courant reports there are 5-6 gun-related homicides every year in situations involving domestic violence. Passage of this bill should help reduce that number.

Rachel Judd, Melissa Legge, Yale Law Students: Support this bill. Suggestions for this bill include

1. The Judicial Branch collect data on service of TRO's

2. The bill should require that marshals and law enforcement notify the COLLECT/Protective Order Registry when a TRO has been successfully served

3. The bill should provide any applicant with the option of service by a sworn police officer

4. Additional methods that broaden the opportunities for service, consistent with due process requirements, should be enumerated in the final bill under Part (4) in order to create more flexibility for applicants seeking to effectuate service.

Lisa Labella: Supports this bill. This bill is necessary to protect women who are working to escape abusive relationships during their most vulnerable time that is, immediately after they have requested a restraining order. This bill would help accomplish that.

New Havel Legal Assistance Assoc., Inc., Aaron Wenzloff, Staff Attorney: Supports this bill with suggestions.

1. Police Should be able to serve TRO's in all cases, at the request of the applicant.

2. If the applicant elects to have law enforcement effectuate service, the information contained in the applicant's application and/or affidavit should not, by itself, constitute grounds for arrest.

3. Other public safety officers should also be authorized to serve TRO's, e.g. correctional officers, probations officers, and judicial marshals for any person who is in the custody of the judicial marshal or is in a courthouse where the judicial marshals provide courthouse security.

4. The person who completes service of a TRO should be required to promptly notify the applicant that service was completed.

5. Where service is successful, officers should be required to ensure that that information is entered into the statewide COLLECT protective order registry, so that every law enforcement department in the state know that the order has been successfully served.

6. Judges should be given explicit statutory authority to extend a TRO and set a new date for a hearing to provide more time for service.

7. The statute should explicitly allow service of copies and faxes of TRO paperwork.

8. Connecticut should allow short form notification as a method of service to provide a fast efficient tool for law enforcement to serve TRO's.

Kathryn Mayer: Supports this bill. You have the opportunity to help change the predetermined outcome for too many victims of domestic violence. You not only have the ability and opportunity to institute life saving changes to our laws and the responsibility to do so.

Newtown Action Aliance, Po Murray: Supports this bill. Study after study demonstrate that higher gun ownership results in more gun deaths and it is estimated that more than 170,000 Connecticut residents own guns. The number of victims served in one year is staggering and last year, 13 Connecticut Victims were killed in a domestic violence situations.

Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, Jonathan Perloe: Supports this bill. A judge issues a temporary restraining order because he or she believes the victim faces “immediate and present physical danger' from the offender. Under these circumstances, as I see it, it's just common sense to immediately prohibit the offender from possessing a gun.

Ct. Against Gun Violence, Ron Pinciaro: Supports this bill. This bill represents substantial improvements in the way Ct. addresses the issue of use of guns in domestic violence tragedies. It addresses service of TRO's and removal of weapons from abusers.

Queenie Collins: Supports this bill. This bill will add clarity to current laws providing protection via restraining orders and removal of weapons from domestic abusers.

Jane Doe: Support this bill. I believe in the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms in a COMMON SENSE fashion. I have a healthy respect for how dangerous they can be. They don't belong in a home with domestic violence. They should not be in a home with someone undergoing a criminal investigation or that has been convicted of a violent crime or felony. They don' t belong in a home with minors or adults that have behavioral health issues that may pose a threat to harm themselves or others especially ones that are going untreated.

Antonio Riera, MD: Supports this bill. This proposed bill should strengthen our State's ability to protect at-risk groups. This bill is a step in the right direction and will add much needed protections to children, adolescents and other innocent citizens of Connecticut.

Barbara Richardson: Supports this bill. Supporting domestic violence victims and extending the removal of firearms from an alleged abuser to the dangerous period when a temporary restraining order is granted should not be controversial. The rights of the alleged abuser to regain gun rights are supported by a court hearing mandated within two weeks.

Deborah G. Palmieri: Supports this bill. The proposed changes relating to Domestic Violence temporary restraining orders and protection of victims of Domestic Violence is designed to serve the interest of public safety.

Mary Dayna Pallant: Supports this bill. During the very dangerous two week period between the ex parte restraining order and the court hearing, it is imperative that the court have the ability to remove firearms, ammunition and gun permits from suspected abusers.

Caithlin De Marrais: Supports this bill. I believe the passage of this bill will help reduce gun violence in Ct. Having been in an abusive relationship and being threatened with a gun I ended the relationship and moved away.

Wendy Leon-Gambetta: Supports this bill. What I struggle to understand is why anyone would oppose common sense measures such as those before you. It's hard to comprehend why we wouldn't all want to join together to do everything in our collective power to keep one another safe from harm—why we wouldn't try really, really hard to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them.

Ayelet Chozick: Supports this bill. Studies have shown that the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence is when they take control of their situations and take steps to end the abusive relationship. The two-week period when the temporary restraining order is granted is that dangerous time. It is the exact time when guns should be removed from the situation.

Stephen Lackey: Supports this bill. Keeping guns away from those who have shown violent tendencies should be a top priority of the legislature.

Sharon Hyde: Supports this bill. It is imperative that guns be surrendered immediately when a restraining order is in effect. This is the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence.

Anne Hughes: Supports this bill. This bill proposes broadening the methods by which respondents may be given legal notice of ex parte restraining orders. It also proposes reducing firearm/ammunition surrender/transfer time down from 2 business days to 24 hours.

Mary Jane Foster: Supports this bill. The time between the ex parte order and the hearing is just two weeks—two weeks that can save a woman or man's life and of course, keep children out of harm's way too. The bill will also shorten the amount of time a respondent has to surrender or transfer firearms and ammunition.

Zoe Eggleston: Supports this bill.

Robert T. Andrews: Supports this bill. Given the often very emotional and disturbed state of respondents in restraining order situations, it only makes sense that every attempt be made to immediately remove firearms from the equation.

Paul Ackert, Mitchell Weinstein: Support this bill. This bill is a no brainer, will save lives and does not infringe on law abiding citizens and their rights.

Helen Brickfield: Supports this bill. This bill proposes that the court be able to remove firearms, ammunition and permits during the ex parte restraining order period.

M. Deluca: Supports this bill. Please do all you can do to pass tougher gun laws!

Brad Eggleston: Supports this bill. This is all common sense and I wish that common sense legislation didn't require such a fight.

Miranda Pacchiana: Supports this bill. Temporarily removing firearms from domestic abusers is just common sense.

Jim Parsons: Supports this bill. This bill is a no brainer, will save lives and does not infringe on law abiding citizens and their rights.

Diane Samples: Supports this bill. In no way does this bill encroach on any law abiding person's right to own a firearm.

Dr. Kishori Scott: Supports this bill. I am writing in support of this bill to reduce gun violence.

Amanda Starbuck Cordano: Supports this bill. I want to know that we have done all we can do to ensure guns are no longer part of the equation. Removing guns for the very dangerous two week period between the ex parte restraining order and the court hearing is a logical step.

Wendy Skratt: Supports this bill. A friend Lori Jackson was killed last year by her abusive husband while supposedly under protection of a temporary restraining order. This is not protection. This bill will help in these situations.

Marilyn Shirley: Supports this bill.

Mark Snyder: It is my position that this bill does not tread on an individual's right to own a firearm.

Jane Torrey: Supports this bill. I am submitting this testimony in support of this bill which modifies the rules of temporary restraining orders to allow the removal of firearms, ammunition and gun/eligibility permits during ex parte restraining orders.

Mitchell Weinstein: This bill is a no brainer, will save lives and do not infringe on law abiding citizens and their rights.

Ross E. Williams: Supports this bill. Domestic disturbances can be among the most violent and firearm possession during such emotional periods can easily have deadly consequences.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Peter Kuck: Opposes this bill. Due process rights demand the following.

1. An unbiased tribunal.

2. Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it.

3. Opportunity to present reasons why the proposed action should not be taken.

4. The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.

5. The right to know opposing evidence.

6. The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.

7. A decision based exclusively on the evidence presented.

8. Opportunity to be represented by counsel.

9. Requirement that the tribunal prepare a record of the evidence presented.

10. Requirement that the tribunal prepare written findings of fact and reasons for its decision.

Chris Kalkreuth: Opposes this bill. When you get arrested on suspicion of family violence you get your hearing the next business day, when a TRO is issued and you've never been arrested you have to wait up to 14 days for such a hearing to even respond to the order. The concept that individuals not arrested should enjoy less due process than those who are arrested cannot be justified.

E. Jonathan Hardy: Opposes this bill. The stated purpose of this bill is simply misleading. From the current language, I quote “To provide greater protection to applicants who are granted temporary restraining orders by the court.” Who is being protected? The vast majority of ex parte restraining orders do not get renewed because there was simply no threat. In fact, most ex parte orders are standard procedure during the dissolution of a relationship, often with no threat present at all.

AFSCME Council 15, Patrick Gaynor, President: Opposes this bill. Connecticut officers have taken on additional duties and reporting requirements nearly every year for the eighteen years I have been doing this job. Police are required to file multiple reports for every type of crime, traffic stop, mental health assessment, and motor vehicle accident. There are additional forms for cases involving firearms, juveniles, mentally ill, evidence seizures, witness statements and a laundry list of other less common matters. Police officers are already doing work that other officials can be doing---serving arrest warrants for probation and juvenile probation officers, evaluating the mentally ill and committing them for an emergency exam. Tracking statistics for the Department of Public Health and Department of Transportation in every single motor vehicle accident and much more. In short the cops are spending so much time doing mandated paperwork and duties that other officials can do that very soon they will not have any time to perform the duties that only they can do. Cities and towns are already working with manpower levels that are below what they should be. Our communities cannot afford to hire more police officers to handle the increased responsibility this bill would add to their departments.

Bob Furgeson: Opposes this bill. This bill is a solution in search of a problem. Now, by no means am I suggesting that domestic violence isn't a problem. It is something that should be eradicated wherever it occurs. However, CURRENT Connecticut law already confiscates firearms from those that pose a risk of injury to themselves or other. Our current restraining order process also already confiscates firearms from an individual under a permanent restraining order.

This bill does ONE thing and ONE thing only….It removes the 14-day window which IS the due process MANDATED by the constitution.

Roy Downey: Opposes this bill. This bill violates the “Due Process Clause” stated in the 5th and 14th Amendments of the Bill of Rights and would take away one of someone's fundamental Constitutional Rights by the accusation of one person, without a hearing, criminal charges or a police report.

James Dempsey Jr.: Opposes this bill. As a gun owner in our state, it is very hard to gain access to our 2nd amendment right, then it is to lose them. Stripping a gun owner of his firearms without even seeing a judge is blatantly against due process.

Brooke Cheney: Opposes this bill. The truth of the matter is that not a single law has EVER stopped a crime. There is a saying, “locks only keep honest people out.” Laws are used for punishment AFTER the crime has been committed IF there is someone to catch the law breaker. Laws don't protect, police families and communities do. I applaud the idea behind these bills, to improve the effectiveness of TRO”s, but these changes being suggested fail to achieve that. The numbers are clear, you are making sweeping changes to protect 160 people, in a year and leaving over 13,000 with no more protection that when you started.

Greater access to advocates for the abused would go much further in helping domestic violence victims.

Leslie Bhutani: Opposes this bill. I understand the importance of this bill, and agree no human should wrongfully hurt another. Unfortunately, no bill or law will change the mindset of another person. If a person has the intentions of hurting someone else, no one would be able to stop that person by removing an item from their possession. In fact, by doing such you maybe even escalating the volatility of a situation by creating a respondent that now feels animosity towards the applicant.

This bill will wrongfully violate the fundamental right of hundreds of people a year all based only on hearsay. In 2014, 45% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing. In Connecticut in 2011 and 2012, guns were used in 9% of those incidents. This bill is to provide greater protection to the applicants of ex parte restraining orders, but this bill is only addressing the weapons used the least, in all family violence incidents and totally ignores the more commonly used weapons, therefore it's reasonably assumed that this bill will not provide greater protection for its applicants.

Connecticut already has multiple firearm seizure provisions for persons posing a risk of injury to self or others. A peace officer while investigating a family violence crime may seize any firearm at that location. Therefore, one can responsibly assume, with current gun seizure laws on the books, subjects of restraining orders after a hearing banned from having firearms and with no deaths by firearms while under the fourteen day temporary restraining order, reported in the 2013 and 2014 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Reports, that the current statutes are serving its people very well.

Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc., Scott Wilson, New London, Connecticut

Scott Wilson testified in opposition to this bill, stating that this bill will only affect legal gun owners by hampering the ability to gain access to a firearm for self-defense in a home invasion, or to legally possess them at all. In his opinion this bill removes proper due process by ordering the removal of firearms without due process and great potential for abuse of this proposal if it were to become enacted. He states that there are already statutes in place for an individual that is deemed a viable danger to others. A Judge can issue a warrant in an expeditious manner if necessary.

Paul Acampora, Woodbridge Connecticut

Mr. Acampora raises the questions of what happens when a person is justifiably threatened by another, and the wrong person files a TRO? Will this bill disarm the individual who truly needs to protect themselves and will it create more issues than our existing restraining order bill?

Chris Lemons, Stamford, Connecticut

Mr. Lemons is a certified firearms instructor who opposes this bill. Stating that as a firearms instructor he provides training required by the state in obtaining a permit to own and carry a firearm. Through this process he has met many victims and potential victims of domestic violence and what he sees as a common thread among these students is a desire to protect themselves and their loved ones. He further states despite his personal feelings, the fact remains that at this time a firearm is the single most effective force equalizer available and there is simply no other item, or training you can give a person (such as a 115lb woman or frail senior citizen) such an advantage against a larger, stronger attacker in a violent confrontation.

He testifies that while this bill attempts to prevent an attacker from using a firearm, it also may be used to disarm a victim, leaving them defenseless and vulnerable. Mr. Lemon's position is that if this bill would become a law, it would be simple for an abuser who knows or suspects their intended target owns a firearm to use this law to deprive a victim of both legally owned property (a firearm) and a constitutionally protected right, without due process.

Paul Acampora, Woodbridge Connecticut

Mr. Acampora raises the questions of what happens when a person is justifiably threatened by another, and the wrong person files a TRO? Will this bill disarm the individual who truly needs to protect themselves and will it create more issues than our existing restraining order bill?

Chris Lemons, Stamford, Connecticut

Mr. Lemons is a certified firearms instructor who opposes this bill. Stating that as a firearms instructor he provides training required by state in obtaining a permit to own and carry a firearm, through this process he has met many of victims and potential victims of domestic violence and what he sees as a common thread among these students is a desire to protect themselves and their loved ones. He further states despite his personal feelings, the fact remains that at this time a firearm is the single most effective force equalizer available and there is simply no other item, or training you can give a person (such as a 115lb woman or frail senior citizen) such an advantage against a larger, stronger attacker in a violent confrontation.

He testifies that while this bill attempts to prevent an attacker from using a firearm, it also may be used to disarm a victim, leaving them defenseless and vulnerable. Mr. Lemon's position is that if this bill would become a law, it would be simple for an abuser who knows or suspects their intended target owns a firearm to use this law to deprive a victim of both legally owned property (a firearm) and a constitutionally protected right, without due process.

Brent Wiltshire, resident of Stonington: opposes this bill because he feels that it is a violation of the 2nd, 5th, and 14th amendment of the US Constitution. He is in strong opposition of Item 5 of the bill and feels that there may be confusion regarding the difference between a Temporary Restraining Order and a Restraining Order. Mr. Wiltshire feels that since the subject of the TRO has no opportunity to be heard or represented it is a violation of due process.

Ivan Bailey, Registered Voter: opposes these bills because they do not provide due process to the accused and feels if these laws are passed they might have unintended consequences to those that might be victims of abuse and need the tools to defend themselves.

John Gori, resident of Milford: opposes this bill it violates the 5th and 14th amendments of the Constitution. Mr. Gori states that in this bill there is a clear violation of a person's 'due process of the law'.

Sean McIntyre, resident of Bristol: opposes this bill because it restricts the right to due process.

Arthur D. Mazeau, resident of Clinton: opposes this bill because it goes against his second amendment rights. He states there is no legal right to remove from possession property that has not been used in a crime.

Scott W. Martin, resident of Middletown: opposes this bill on the basis of failure for due process. It confiscates property before the accused can be heard. Mr. Martin stated that 45% of TRO's were not considered valid in 2014 and that the system is full of error and abuse.

M. Marek, resident of Windsor Locks: opposes this bill because Marshals handle the service of temporary restraining orders just fine and feel that the police do not need to serve the TROs. They feel the situation escalates to violence when police are asked to fulfill the task. Also the bill does not address whom firearms are transferred to.

Dan Marcil, resident of Thomaston: opposes this bill because if a situation is serious enough for a person to lose a fundamental constitutional right then it should be serious enough for a police investigation, or a court hearing.

Jennifer Gleason, resident of Waterbury: opposes this bill because it violates the concept and idea of Due Process and negatively impacts public safety.

Kurt Asplund, resident of East Lyme: opposes this bill because it would violate a person's constitutional right of due process and strip them of their fundamental right to self-defense.

Kyle Buckley, John R. Buckley, resident of New Britain: opposes this bill because there are laws in Connecticut that allow police officers to remove firearms from a person deemed to be an eminent threat. The bill also does not state the process on how to get back the firearms when the situation is resolved.

Greg Baker: opposes this bill because these bills only cause more fear. Under current law there is already 'imminent risk warrants' so why make another law.

Jason L. Bugbee, resident of Norwich: opposes this bill because they are open to abuse and will lead to people that are in the right being accused of actions and as a result losing their possessions without due process.

Keith Charles: opposes the bill because there is already law that addresses the concerns addressed in the bill.

Linda F. Czaplinski: opposes this bill because it is biased against the abuser and is a violation of due process afforded to the accused with the intent of seizing lawfully owned property.

Brian Corbino, resident of Southington: opposes this bill because it goes against the rights of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments. 40 percent of the TROs orders granted were found to have insufficient reason to issue a restraining order.

Sebastiano Cornello: opposes this bill because it is against the 2nd amendment.

Andrew J. Covell, resident of Coventry: opposes this bill because if a crime were serious enough to cause an individual to lose a constitutional right, then that crime should be serious enough for a police investigation. The bill only erodes the rights and responsibilities of law abiding citizens in Connecticut.

William D. Curlew, resident of Windsor: opposes the bill because there is a clear and obvious potential for false accusations. Over 45% of all TRO's are dismissed during the hearings.

J. Leonard, resident of Derby: opposes this bill because it strips individuals of their gun rights without due process of the law. Connecticut law already provides for “imminent risk warrants' to be issued. It is important for gun owners to have the opportunity to put up their own defense before losing their second amendment rights

David W. Dickerson: opposes the bill because it is an over-reach and stark contrast of his second amendment rights.

John DiTullio: opposes this bill because people that follow the rules shouldn't be punished or controlled by those who have no regard for others.

Christopher Duffy, resident of New Britain: opposes this bill because it violates the Constitution, taking away due process.

James F. Farrell, resident of Meriden: opposes this bill because it would strip him of his gun rights without due process of the law. Connecticut law already provides for 'imminent risk warrants” to be issued by law enforcement to seize firearms.

Don Feuerstein II: opposes the law because it removes your second amendment rights and limits legal firearm owning citizens from being able to protect one's self and family.

Thomas L Fox, resident of Willington: opposes this bill because it is redundant legislation and goes on to deny citizens their right to due process.

Clyde Finger, resident of Oxford: opposes this bill because it allows you to be stripped of your gun rights without due process of the law. Connecticut law already provides for “imminent risk warrants” to be issued.

Glenn Frank, resident of Haddam: opposes this bill because it removes a person's constitutional rights without due process.

Elsa Galetsa, resident of Groton: opposes this bill because it represents a gross overreach of government power into homes and private lives.

Robert Gaudio, resident of East Haddam: opposes this bill because it denies due process and place an undue burden on lawful firearms owners.

Barbara P. Gaudio, resident of East Haddam: opposes this bill because the bill as it stands is too general and should not be used as a tool for one person to get back at another person just because they can use the legal system to do so. There should be some type of proof or evidence before a weapon could be taken away.

Karl S. Jakobsen: opposes the bill because there is already a current law that provides for “imminent risk warrants” to be issued.

Robert E. Jones: opposes the bill because it removes due process of the law from the accused. In addition, the bill may have unintended consequences to those that might actually be victims of abuse and need tools to defend themselves.

George Kenyon, resident of East Haven: opposes the bill because there is an absence of due process. There should be stricter penalties for those who use the courts to exact revenge or manipulate the legal system under false pretenses.

Andrew Koehm, resident of Brookfield: opposes the bill because it is open to abuse and will lead to innocent people being accused of actions and as a result lose their rights and property without due process.

Thomas Maloney, resident of North Stonington: opposes the bill because 48% of TROs are not upheld while the gun owner has his legally acquired property seized and his constitutionally guaranteed rights stripped.

Mike Ninteau, resident of Lebanon: opposes this bill because it will lead people to lose their rights and property without due process.

Richard Pieczarka, resident of Coventry: opposes this bill because it is arbitrary and vindictive and would be subject to frequent abuse with no remedy for the falsely accused.

Eric Rivera: opposes this bill because people will misuse this just to cause grief/ stress on someone's life.

Norman Pontbriand, resident of Wallingford: opposes this bill because there are laws on the books that cover this and citizens need due process when removing rights.

Abigail Ruiz: opposes this people because people will misuse it by falsely accusing people for no reason.

Joseph P. Schuler, resident of Norwalk: opposes this bill because it violates due process.

Robert and Donna Schwartz, residents of Guilford: oppose this bill because they need their rights as licensed gun owners protected.

Bill Stevens, resident of Newtown: opposes this bill because it violates the 2nd and 14th amendments.

Keith Phillip Stewart: opposes this bill because gun confiscation should not follow a TRO or RO without the full measure of due process.

Warren Stevens, resident of Southington: opposes this bill because a person is entitled to due process and a hearing in front of a judge before action is taken on their property.

Robert Starr, resident of Torrington: opposes this bill because they violate due process by allowing the removal of private property without a hearing

Douglas Sharafanowich, resident of Milford: opposes this bill because it provides no protection of due process of the law and is a violation of the 5th and 14th amendment.

Matthew Szydlo: opposes this bill because this will add little to our safety as a society.

Eric Watson: opposes the bill because it conflicts the 2nd amendment and feels that it can be easily abused and used against someone for personal reasons.

Dr. Joseph S. Warmus: opposes this bill because it removes personal property without due process. Connecticut already proves for “imminent risk warrants” to be issued. The bill will negate the 4th and 14th amendment in order to negate the 2nd amendment.

Rick Wiese: opposes this bill because it would allow confiscation of personal property without due process.

Kurt Weisheit: opposes this bill because it violates the due process clause of the 5th and 14th amendments. The bill impacts public safety negatively and would allow for abuse of the system. Nearly half of all TRO's do not result in permanent restraining orders. Also under current law, firearms and ammunition seized without merit are often not returned.

Paul Wolf: opposes this bill because it infringes on his 2nd amendment rights.

Jessica Wing, resident of Oxford: opposes this bill because if someone is arrested or has a restraining order against them, their firearms are already confiscated. The bill makes it far too easy to people to make false claims and for the accused to lose their 2nd amendment rights.

Scott Wilson, President CCDL, Inc.: opposes this bill because it removes the due process ordering the removal of firearms. There is potential for abuse, and there are already statutes in place for an individual that is deemed viable to danger others not to receive firearms.

Matt Zurell, resident of Bristol: opposes the bill because it goes against a citizen's right of due process.

Joel Zemke: opposes the bill because nobody should have their guns/ ammunition confiscated without due process. The bill will go against the 2nd amendment.

Thomas Violante, resident of New Haven: opposes the bill because it allows a citizen's gun rights to be stripped without due process of the law. The respondent of the restraining order has no say about the veracity of the applicant's statement nor has an opportunity to protect their 2nd amendment rights. If a firearm is confiscated erroneously or a court dismisses the order the wait to get one's firearms, ammunition certificates, and permits returned is usually 2 years.

Robert C. Young, resident of New Canaan: opposes this bill because it violates the Constitution. Current law already provides for “imminent risk warrants” to be issued.

Ken Ventresca: opposes this bill because it goes against the rights granted in the 2nd amendment

Joseph D. Van Gorder: opposed the bill because it will hurt more lives than it helps. He thinks any legal gun owner would agree that there are times when guns should be removed from the equation, but only with due process.

John Thompson: opposes this bill because it is an infringement on his 2nd amendment rights and an overreach of the government.

Dave Stiebs: opposes this bill because citizens deserve their right to due process.

Vlad G. Spitzer, resident of Stamford: opposes the bill because it is a mechanism for confiscation of weapons without due process of the law.

Dan Schnaufer: opposes this bill because it strips citizens of their right to due process.

F. X. Saunders, resident of Cornwall Bridge: opposes this bill because it is unconstitutional and would deny due process to gun owners.

James Ritchie, resident of Bristol: opposes this bill because it violates the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments and the Supreme Court decision McDonald et al. v. City of Chicago, Illinois.

NRA-ILA: opposes this bill because this bill's low evidentiary standards and lack of a mechanism for individuals to present their own defense before being deprived of their constitutional rights.

Lorenzo Quijano, resident of Branford: oppose this bill because it is a gross violation of civil rights.

Thomas Phelps, resident of Lisbon: opposes this bill it denies due process to citizens. The bill will make citizens lose their second amendment rights.

Leif Eric Petterson Sr.: opposes this bill because the right to be treated as “innocent until proven guilty” and to have the opportunity to defend your rights in court before you are stripped of them is a fundamental element of our freedom.

Amy Panagakos: opposes this bill because it goes against her second amendment rights. The law will take firearms away from gun owners that went through the legal process to own and carry by CT laws.

Donald Palmer, resident of Manchester: opposes this bill because it is a direct violation of the 4th amendment. Connecticut law already provides for “imminent risk warrants” and for prohibiting dangerous persons from possessing firearms.

Pat Murphy: opposes this bill because it violates due process.

Steven Mauro, resident of Naugatuck: opposes this bill because although intended for diffusing dangerous situations, it will lead to blatant and improper misuse.

Robert Louth, resident of Wilton: opposes this bill because there is nothing that stops a person from making a false statement against the other person and in turn takes away a person's right of gun ownership with due process.

Paul LoCicero, resident of Ansonia: opposes this bill because it strops an entire class of law abiding, taxpaying citizens their right to due process. The bill also leaves this class of people vulnerable to anyone with a nefarious agenda.

Joseph Landry: opposes this bill because it is in direct violation of due process. The bill clearly defines that the accused is guilty until proven innocent with no recourse or immediate action.

Stefan K: opposes this bill because it suspends due process.

David Karchner: opposes this bill because it would allow gun rights to be stripped without due process of the law. A person does not have an opportunity to have a hearing before their firearms, ammunition, or permits are confiscated. If taken, the wait is often 2 years or longer to get back firearms.

Joseph Hriczo, resident of Bolton: opposes this law because assuming there is a temporary restraining order issued on the complaint of one party and the accused has not had the opportunity to present his side of the case as he would have in the case of a restraining order, the bill deprives the accused of their right of due process.

Maria Thompkins: opposes this bill because she doesn't see how the bill will improve the service and effectiveness of temporary restraining orders issued. She has worked hard to acquire the permits needed to carry firearms in Connecticut and after doing research, a small percent of domestic violence cases in the state involve firearms.

Benjamin M. Hoffman, resident of Mansfield Center: opposes this bill because if firearms are confiscated the wait is two years or more to have the firearms or permits returned to you if the case is dismissed.

John Harris, resident of Brooklyn: opposes this bill because it encourages false claims to be made during periods of domestic conflict, allowing the power of the state to inflict harm without any opportunity for defense by the individual accused.

Christopher Dukes, resident of Hartford: opposes this bill because although the intentions are understandable the proposed bill lacks the appropriate due process for the law abiding individuals who find themselves subject to a complaint.

Anthony F. DeLucia: opposes this bill because it would allow gun rights to be stripped without due process of the law. If firearms are confiscated the wait to is often two years or longer to get them returned if that case was dismissed. The bill circumvents a citizen's 2nd amendment rights.

Robert Davis, resident of Stamford: opposes this bill because it disregards due process of the law.

Mark D. Cross: opposes this bill because it allows for false reports to be made.

Scott Crosby: opposes this bill because it denies due process and the 2nd amendment.

Guy Cranfill, resident of Gales Ferry: opposes this bill because it attempts to circumvent due process protections under the law.

Andrew J. Covell, resident of Coventry: opposes this bill because the bill will only further erode the Rights and Responsibilities of citizens. Connecticut already has a law for the seizure of firearms for person posing a risk or injury to themselves or others.

Robert Colby, resident of Prospect: opposes this bill because it has the potential to deprive citizens of their rights with an unacceptably low evidentiary standard.

Don Cline: opposes the bill because it violates the rights of due process.

John T. Aliberti, resident of Bristol: opposes the bill because it is a violation of the Constitutional right of due process.

Harland Christofferson, resident of Guilford: opposes this law because it would allow citizen's gun rights to be stripped without due process of the law. If firearms are confiscated the wait to is often two years or longer to get them returned if that case was dismissed.

Christopher A. Hurd: opposes the bill because it removes due process of the law from the accused. Also if the bill is passed it may have unintended consequences to those that might actually be victims of abuse and need the tools to defend themselves.

Peter R. Carey: Opposes this bill because it would make the accused lose their 2nd amendment rights and be convicted without due process of the law. Also there is no consequence if a false report is filed.

Greg Boulanger: Opposes this bill because it would allow gun rights to be stripped without due process of the law.

Mike Bernardo: Opposes this bill because the bill's low evidentiary standards and lack of a mechanism for individuals to present their own defense before being deprived of their constitutional rights is unacceptable.

Reported by: George Marinelli

April 7, 2015