Woman Feared Her Ex, So She Applied for a Gun Permit. She Was Murdered While Waiting for NJ to Allow Her to Have One.
Carol Bowne no longer felt safe.
The 39-year-old hairdresser from Berlin Township, New Jersey, was afraid that her ex-boyfriend might try to hurt her. Fearing possible domestic violence, she reportedly filed a restraining order against her ex, installed security cameras and tried to get a gun for self-defense.
But New Jersey’s gun law are notoriously draconian, and the process to merely obtain a handgun permit takes months.
Bowne was found by law enforcement stabbed to death in her driveway on Wednesday night. Her ex-boyfriend, identified as Michael Eitel, 45, has since been arrested and charged with murder. He is a convicted felon with a long rap sheet, according to the Courier-Post:
Court records show Eitel pleaded guilty to a weapons offense in 2008 after being indicted in 2006 on a charge of aggravated assault with bodily injury. He received a five-year sentence for that offense, which neighbors said was related to an assault on a former girlfriend.
Some of Bowne’s friends are now saying that the system failed the woman.
Berlin Township Police Chief Leonard Check confirmed to the Courier-Post that Bowne applied for a handgun license on April 21. She followed up on her application on Monday, he said.
She was murdered on Wednesday.
Check said the handgun license process takes about two months or longer. The process apparently didn’t move any faster even after the woman’s car windows were reportedly shattered right after she filed a restraining order against Eitel.
“She did absolutely everything she was supposed to,” Denise Lovallo, one of Bowne’s work colleagues, said.
Read the full report here.