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Advocates Say Legal Gaps Remain To Prevent Domestic Violence In The U.S.

Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public Radio
Merry Jackson holds a portrait of herself and her daughter Lori, who was pregnant with twins. Lori was fatally shot by her husband when the twins were 18 months old.

Lori Jackson feared for her life, so she got a temporary restraining order against her husband. But he was still able to legally buy a handgun, which he used to kill Jackson.

This hour, we talk about the legal gaps that allow some domestic abusers to purchase firearms.

Proposed changes to federal law aim to address these gaps, changes that advocates say would protect women like Lori Jackson. But opponents say these changes would infringe on Second Amendment rights. We hear more about the debate to update the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Later, we talk about the unique legal obstacles Native American tribal nations face when seeking justice for domestic violence victims.


  • Ryan Lindsay - Reporter for Connecticut Public Radio and the Guns and America public radio reporting collaborative
  • Julie Goldscheid - Professor at CUNY Law School
  • Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Dr. Lynn Malerba - Chief of Mohegan Tribe in Uncasville Connecticut; she is the Secretary of the United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund which represents 27 federally recognized tribal nations.
Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.

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