No excuse for this horror. This time, the abuser MURDERED his ex-wife’s sister and 4 of 5 of her children. He had a history of serious domestic violence, and even had attacked his mother. This shocking MASS MURDER shows how easy it remains for domestic abusers to possess firearms, thanks to weak legislation. Not that laws mean safety for abuse victims, unfortunately.
According to this article, “Under federal law, Haskell’s protective order should have prohibited him from owning guns, says Laura Cutilletta, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. However, in October 2013, Haskell’s protective order was converted to a “mutual restraining order” as part of their divorce and custody proceedings. “
“This crucial step likely meant that Haskell was legally allowed to have guns again, under both state and federal law. Had the first protection order not been dropped, Cutilletta added, “likely he would have been prohibited.” Nor is it likely that Haskell’s 2008 conviction barred him from owning a gun in Utah or Texas, Cutilletta says, because he was convicted of simple assault rather than domestic violence. “
And in the updates, we learn this.
“New reporting  shows that Haskell likely had two other pending restraining orders against him—one filed by his sister this past November, and the other by his mother as recently as July 3, 2014. “
During his attack on his mother, his mother said Haskell claimed he was “going to kill me, my family, and any officer who stops him.”
** If this information proves accurate, it raises additional questions about the role of restraining orders in this case, and whether they should have triggered a federal- or state-level ban on gun ownership. **