Domestic violence groups: Gun law changes not the answer


by Whitney Harding

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 2 at 6:45 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Marta Miranda, the President and CEO of the Louisville Center for Women and Families, has seen too many domestic violence tragedies where guns have been hurtful and unhelpful.

"In 2009 Amanda Ross was killed by Steve Nunn,” she said. “Well, she had a gun in her purse. That did not protect her. She's dead."

This is just one reason that Miranda believes giving a gun to victims who have protective orders just isn't a smart idea.

"Our concern is that what we believe it's going to do is add an incredible amount of increased risk to an already volatile and risky situation," Miranda explained. "Just to blanket carry a gun we don't believe that's going to be useful and we have real grave concerns about it."

Miranda isn’t the only one concerned. Marcia Roth with the Mary Byron Project says giving these victims a gun without training is a huge risk.

"It's not something they know how to do and this law doesn't provide them with training and I think it's dangerous," she said.

Legislators believe they are helping women in dire situations. Representative David Osborne, who's districts include Jefferson County, emphasized this is to allow victims to not only own a firearm, but carry one as well for protection.

"The ultimate objective is to provide someone in an emergency situation the opportunity to get a concealed carry permit," he said. “This is for someone willing to initiate the [protection] process and to provide as quick protection as possible.”

On the other side, University of Kentucky Professor Dr. TK Logan, who has done extensive research on gun use involved in domestic violence, said a California study found “women who purchased handguns were at increased risk for intimate partner homicide but not for homicide involving other assailants. Female handgun purchasers were at increased risk for overall homicide."

Miranda says the legislature needs to add protection not in firearms, but in a dating violence bill.

"It is incredibly shameful that we are now the only state in the country who cannot protect victims of sexual assault by them being able to get a protective order,” she said. “Because they are not legally married, they do not have a child in common, or they don't live together."