Connecticut gets tough gun laws

2013-04-02 11:00
Jason Zielinski helps a customer select a rifle at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store. (File, AFP)

Jason Zielinski helps a customer select a rifle at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hartford - Connecticut state lawmakers announced a deal on Monday on what they called some of the toughest gun laws in America including a ban on new high-capacity ammunition magazines after a massacre left 20 children and six educators dead in December.

The proposal also called for background checks for private gun sales and a new registry for existing magazines that carry 10 or more bullets, something of a compromise for parents of Newtown victims who had wanted an outright ban on them, while legislators had proposed grandfathering them into the law.

The package also creates what lawmakers said is America's first statewide dangerous weapon offender registry, immediate universal background checks for all firearms sales and expansion of Connecticut's assault weapons ban.

A new state-issued eligibility certificate would also be needed to purchase any rifle, shotgun or ammunition under the legislation. To get the certificate, a buyer would need to be fingerprinted, take a firearms training course and undergo a national criminal background check and involuntary commitment or voluntary admission check.

The deal is "the most comprehensive package in the country because of its breadth", said Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, a Republican whose district includes Newtown.

McKinney said people tend to focus on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but he said "there's a lot here underneath the surface" addressing mental health, school security and other issues.

Sending a message

The proposal was disclosed to rank-and-file lawmakers on Monday after weeks of negotiations among legislative leaders. A vote was expected on Wednesday in the Legislature. Both Democratic and Republican leaders were expected to support the proposal, making passage all but assured. The bill would then be sent to Governor Dannel P Malloy, who has helped lead efforts to strengthen the state's gun laws.

Connecticut is sending a message to Washington and the rest of the country "this is the way to get this job done", said House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, a Democrat.

The shooting reignited the gun debate in America and led to calls for increased gun control legislation on the federal and state levels. While some other states, including New York, have strengthened their gun laws since the shooting, momentum has stalled in Congress, whose members were urged by President Barack Obama last week not to forget the shooting and to capitalise on the best chance in years to stem gun violence.

The gunman in Newtown blasted his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-calibre rifle within five minutes. He went through six 30-round magazines, though half were not completely empty, and police said he had three other 30-round magazines in addition to one in the rifle. He gunned down 26 people, then shot himself to death with a handgun.

Six relatives of Newtown victims visited the Capitol on Monday, asking lawmakers to include a ban on existing high-capacity magazines. Some handed out cards with photographs of their slain children. They delivered a letter signed by 24 relatives that demanded that legislators include existing large-capacity ammunition magazines in the ban on the sale of magazines that carry 10 or more bullets.

Loophole

Allowing such large-capacity magazines to remain in the hands of gun owners would leave a gaping loophole in the law, said Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the shooting.

"It doesn't prevent someone from going out of the state to purchase them and then bring them back. There's no way to track when they were purchased, so they can say, 'I had this before'," Barden said. "So it's a big loophole."

Jake McGuigan, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, said he wouldn't comment on the proposal until he saw it in the writing, but he questioned the mechanics of a registry for magazines.

"How will they register a magazine? It seems a little weird," he said.


- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  gun control
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mercury has moved into Libra which adds a more social energy to the way you can communicate and connect things. Today is about...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.