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The Connecticut Senate passed legislation approving gun seizures within 24 hours from anyone accused of domestic violence.
The bill won final approval in the Senate with a 23-13 vote on Monday and is expected to be signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who proposed the legislation, the Connecticut Post reported.
The legislation requires alleged domestic abusers, most of them men, to surrender their firearms and ammunition within 24 hours if restraining orders have been filed by partners.
The intention is to protect women at the critical point in relationships when they are trying to leave the abusive partner, the Post reported. Connecticut sees about 14 domestic homicides a year, half of which are caused by guns. And only half of the annual 5,000 temporary restraining orders become permanent.
The bill requires court hearings within seven days, not the current 14 days, and weapons would be returned within five days if a judge does not extend the order, the Post reported.
“This is a very important bill,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney. “To focus to a greater extent on the possible inconvenience of gun owners at the expense of the great danger to victims of domestic violence is not the balance that we should strike in looking at this issue of policy.”
The bill was debated for nearly three hours with three failed attempts by Republicans to amend it because they said it would infringe on the constitutional rights of lawful gun owners by seizing weapons without due process.
“I do believe we have to honor the Constitution, we have to honor the Second Amendment and we have to honor the rights of individuals,” said Republican Sen. Rob Kane.
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