Why Temporary Restraining Orders May Not Stop An Abuser From Getting A Gun

Under federal law, a temporary restraining order doesn’t prevent someone from purchasing a gun.

By Ryan LindsayMarch 10, 2020 9:39 am, , ,

From KERA:

Merry Jackson wanted to protect her daughter, Lori. She did the best she could. But when Lori’s husband, Scott Gellatly, stormed through the door of her parents’ home, there wasn’t much Merry could do.

“He’s here! Scott’s here!” Lori screamed upstairs to her mother, who was in bed with her twin 18-month-old grandchildren.

Merry hit the panic button she wore around her neck that was linked to her home security system. Lori called 9-1-1. Through tears she told the dispatcher that her husband was back, that she had a temporary restraining order against him and that when he left five weeks ago, he had taken his gun with him. Then, Lori and Merry went downstairs, hoping that Gellatly wouldn’t come for the babies.

“We knew he was coming in a rage,” Merry said.

They fought at the door.

“He had Lori by the hair and he was trying to pull her out,” Merry said.

Lori and Merry pulled against him, screaming.

“He was losing the battle,” Merry said, “and he just let go with one hand and went in his pocket and pulled out a gun.”

Gellatly started shooting. He hit Merry in her jaw, arm and back. He shot Lori in her head and chest.

“You can’t fight a gun,” Merry said.

“Please don’t kill mommy” were her daughter’s last words.

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