Update: Both the Connecticut state Senate and House have passed this gun control package and it was signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday.
Connecticut legislators announced on Monday that after several weeks of debate between Democrats and Republicans, a deal has been brokered for a comprehensive firearm-related bill.
Gun control advocates such as Ron Pinciaro, the executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, believe that the new bill would have little effect on handgun violence. But, in an interview with the New York Times, he stated that the package is “the strongest [gun control] bill in the nation.”
Gun owners and gun rights groups are weary of the new bill and firearm industry stalwarts like the National Shooting Sports Foundation remain critical of the proposal. In addition to what is seen as an attack on personal freedoms, Connecticut’s gun industry–including big names like Colt Manufacturing–could be at risk. A blog post by NSSF Senior Vice President Larry Keane predicts disastrous results for local firearm manufacturers:
The irony, of course, is that if gun-control legislation in Connecticut passes, the gun industry in Connecticut could become just that – history. If pending bills in the Connecticut General Assembly are passed, there will other vacant firearm factories in the state – and plenty of laid off former manufacturing employees who used to work in them. They all would make great monuments to the historic industry that Connecticut’s lawmakers turned their backs on, all in the name of politics.
WTNH reports that the bill will, among other things:
- Establish a statewide “dangerous weapon offender” registry
- Require “universal background checks” on all firearm sales
- Expand the state’s “assault weapons” ban with 100 new specified firearms
- Ban the sale of new “high capacity” magazines (any that hold over 10 rounds) and require registration for existing magazines
- Require eligibility certificates for purchase of rifles, shotguns, or ammunition
- An expansion of the state’s safe storage law
Connecticut remains at the forefront of the gun control debate, and being the site of the Newtown tragedy, emotions run high.
“I wake up in the morning and put this green ribbon and pin on my jacket lapel to remember those we’ve lost,” said senator John McKinney (R-Fairfield). “And what I’m proud of is that all of us, Republicans and Democrats, understood that some issues, and this one particularly, should rise above politics.”
Bipartisan support for the bill means that it will have a fair chance when it reaches the General Assembly on Wednesday. Connecticut already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and is part of seven states, recently including Colorado, with magazine limits.