Senate Holds 'First Ever' Hearing on Guns, Domestic Violence

By CBS News

Published 07/30 2014 06:50PM

Updated 07/30 2014 06:56PM

WASHINGTION D.C. -- Domestic violence survivors and advocates told emotional stories about abusive relationships and partners who tried to kill them during the senate judiciary committee's "first-ever" hearing on guns and domestic abuse

Domestic violence survivors joined witnesses testifying about abused loved ones who didn't survive.

"I am here to today to speak for my sister Zina,” says Elvin Daniel, Zina’s brother.

Zina's estranged husband shot and killed her and two other women. Her brother and other victim's families want gun law loopholes closed.

"Right now federal law is a shadow of what it should be in protecting against gun violence and domestic abuse,” says Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Senators Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar have proposed legislation prohibiting anyone convicted of domestic violence or stalking and those under temporary restraining orders from owning guns.

"The restraining order provisions could pose some problems,” says Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.)

Legal experts say some law-abiding citizens could lose their guns as a result.

"You need two people; you need the person who's being accused to be able to present their facts,” says Dr. Joyce Lee Malcolm, constitutional law professor at George Mason University.

Christy Salters Martin's husband shot her in the chest, she sees closing the loopholes as a way to save lives.

"Let’s keep guns out of the hands of the people who don't need or deserve to have guns,” says Martin. “Simply, they're too dangerous."

Survivor groups are prepared to keep pushing for change, but know it will be an uphill battle.

The NRA has mailed letters to congressional members saying it opposes the bill, which would prohibit convicted stalkers and abusive dating partners from buying and owning guns.

The gun rights group has not publicly responded to the second bill, which keep people under a temporary restraining order from possessing a gun.

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