Nunn ordered to not own gun

Ex-girlfriend's EPO restricted firearms

lblackford@herald-leader.comSeptember 14, 2009 

An emergency protective order filed against former state legislator Steve Nunn by his one-time fiancee specifically prohibited him from the possession or purchase of a firearm.

The domestic violence order obtained by Amanda Ross in March says that "in order to assist in eliminating specific acts of domestic violence and abuse: Respondent is further ordered not to possess, purchase, or attempt to possess, purchase or obtain a firearm during the duration of this order."

Ross, 29, was shot to death on Friday outside of her home. No one has been charged in her death.

Nunn was arrested in Hart County on Friday afternoon at the edge of a cemetery where his parents are buried after allegedly firing a .38-caliber handgun when police officers approached him. He was charged with six counts of wanton endangerment. Lexington police have said he is a person of interest in the death of Ross.

Nunn was taken to the Bowling Green Medical Center with self-inflicted wounds on his wrists. He was still there on Sunday night, State Police said. He is expected to be moved to the Hart County Jail on Monday.

Police have not said whether the handgun he allegedly brandished belonged to Nunn or where he might have obtained it.

Darlene Thomas, executive director of the Bluegrass Domestic Violence program, said one area of domestic violence laws that bears scrutiny involves the possession of weapons by people who have a domestic violence order against them.

There is a federal law that prohibits someone who has a protective order against them from having a weapon. But that law doesn't require courts or law enforcement to confiscate a gun or other weapon, Thomas said.

Kentucky has no state law regarding the possession of weapons by a person who has a domestic violence order against them, but judges often address the issue specifically if an allegation includes information about weapons, Thomas said. Although allegations about weapons are not clear from court documents, Family Court Judge Tim Philpot made the prohibition against them specific for Nunn.

Meanwhile, Ross's family has released her funeral arrangements and pledged to champion reforms to improve domestic violence issues in Kentucky.

"We need to find a (better) way to protect domestic violence victims from their predators," said Dale Emmons, a close family friend who is acting as spokesman. "They (the family) don't want other victims to endure what Amanda did, and want to strengthen these kinds of laws."

Ross's obituary asked for donations in her memory to be made to the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program which Thomas directs. Thomas said she welcomes working with the Ross family.

Ross was shot Friday morning outside her townhouse in Opera House Square in downtown Lexington. Earlier this year, she had obtained a domestic violence order against Nunn. On Aug. 3, Nunn entered an Alford plea — he admitted no guilt, but acknowledged there is enough evidence to produce a guilty verdict — to a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge.

Currently under Kentucky law, dating couples are not protected under domestic violence orders. However, the protection does extend to co-habitating couples and because Nunn and Ross lived together, she was able to obtain an order against him.

The order said they "lived together at least from May 2008 to Oct. 20, 2008 and were engaged on Oct. 10, 2008." That was Ross's birthday.

The order said that the couple received mail as Mr. and Mrs. Steve Nunn and shared expenses.

Lexington lawyer Michael Moloney, who represented Nunn in the domestic violence matter, declined to comment Sunday, citing attorney client privilege.

Ross, who graduated from Sayre School in 1998, and went on to get a degree from Boston University, was the director of financial standards and examination for the Kentucky Department of Insurance.

She is survived by her mother, Diana; her sister, Carrie Ross of Lexington; and two nephews. She was predeceased by her father, Terrell Ross.

Visitation will be held Tuesday at the Carrick House from 5 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be Wednesday at the Carrick House at 2 p.m. with burial at the Lexington Cemetery.

Donations in memory of Amanda Ross can be made to the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program at P.O. Box 55190, Lexington, KY 40555. Donations can also be made at www.beyondtheviolence.org.

Arrangements are by Milward-Broadway.

Reach Linda Blackford at (859) 231-1359.

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