Connecticut Passes Comprehensive Gun Control Legislation

| April 4, 2013
Connecticut House of Representitives, Photo: Marc Tomik (CCL)

The Connecticut House passed a comprehensive set of gun control reforms early Thursday morning.

The bipartisan bill requires universal background checks for all gun sales, limits the capacity of rifle magazines to 10 rounds, and adds over 100 more firearms to the state’s assault weapon ban list.

The ban includes the Bushmaster XM15 assault weapon used to kill  20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th of last year.

The Senate approved the bill in a late session yesterday, and Governor Dannel Malloy has indicated that he will sign the bill into law at noon today during a ceremony at the state Capitol. The vote passed Connecticut’s Democratically-controlled House 105 to 44, just hours after the Senate approved an identical bill, 26 to 10. Both chambers were bipartisan votes.

“I pray today’s bill — the most far-reaching gun safety legislation in the country — will prevent other families from ever experiencing the dreadful loss that the 26 Sandy Hook families have felt,” said House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.

Brady Campaign President Dan Gross joined in the praise, saying, “The bills passed today will save lives, plain and simple. The leaders in Connecticut are taking action because it is the right thing to do, but also because for them, Newtown didn’t just happen in some far off town.  It was their community.  It was their friends and neighbors.”

Connecticut lawmakers approved the measures just two week after Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper also signed into law a bill that calls for universal background checks on private and online gun sales. Said checks are also the law in California and Rhode Island.

Gross adds, “We applaud the actions taken by leaders in states like Connecticut, Colorado and New York, and we hope that the Congress is watching.  It is their turn to remember that what they are debating is about preventing the thousands of senseless deaths each year from guns which have fallen into the wrong hands.”

However, not all are applauding. House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, who helped craft the bill, said he realizes some gun owners are unhappy with the bill, but he stressed that no one will lose their legally owned guns or magazines under the legislation.

“We did our job. We did it together,” he said. “We did the best we could and I think we did a good thing.”

The universal background check measure, publicly supported by 9-out-of-10 Americans, still faces tough opposition at the national level. In a Colorado address given yesterday, President Obama appealed to Americans to set aside “the people who take absolute positions” on gun issues and “put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.”

The President also held Colorado up as an example of a gun-loving state that still embraces “common sense” curbs on firearm and ammunition purchases.

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