Domestic violence advocates call for change in temporary restraining orders in wake of Scott Gellatly case

There were several temporary restraining orders filed against Scott Gellatly, including one filed two weeks ago by Lori Gellatly. (5/8/14)

NORWALK - As the case against Scott Gellatly unfolds, domestic violence advocates are calling for an end to what they say is a loophole in state law regarding restraining orders and gun possession.

Scott Gellatly, of Oxford, was arraigned today in the murder of his estranged wife Lori Gellatly. There were several temporary restraining orders filed against Scott Gellatly, including one filed two weeks ago by Lori Gellatly.

Gellatly would have appeared in court today for a hearing on that temporary restraining order. If that had taken place and had a judge ruled the restraining order permanent, Scott Gellatly would have been required by state law to hand over any firearms in his possession. That is not the case with a temporary restraining order, in which suspects are allowed to keep their firearms.

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Domestic violence advocates say that's a significant weak point that needs to be changed. They say that doing so might save lives.

"I think it would be great if the Connecticut lawmakers would take a look at extending the firearms surrender laws to the ex parte restraining orders," says Andrea Mancuso, the director of legal services and public policy at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Stamford.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for similar legislation at the federal level.

Police have not released details about the gun used in Wednesday's shootings.

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