CT governor seeks stronger gun laws in CT with latest proposal – CT Insider


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Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday rolled out the third phase of an already-ambitious effort to strengthen Connecticut’s gun laws, adding waiting periods, safe storage and improved design safety to the list of initiatives that he wants lawmakers to address this year. 

In a pair of press conferences last week, Lamont pledged to address both community gun violence and the threat of mass shootings by cracking down on open-carry, and ending the proliferation of “ghost” guns and military-style rifles through new registration requirements. 

On Wednesday, Lamont’s latest series of proposals mostly focused on preventing suicides, accidental shootings and domestic violence. 

A news release announcing the proposals came on the same day it was revealed that a woman in Bethel had obtained a restraining order against the man accused of killing her in a murder-suicide earlier this week. That order should have required the man, identified in public records as the one-time husband of the victim, to surrender all of his firearms and ammunition.

The governor’s latest legislative proposal included a 10-day waiting period on firearm purchases, similar to laws in place in California and Washington, D.C. The package also includes an expansion of the state’s existing safe-storage requirements, a prohibition against carrying loaded firearms in vehicles, the mandatory inclusion of trigger locks in all gun sales and a requirement that all new semi-automatic pistols sold beginning next year be equipped with safety designs that prevent them from being fired accidentally when the magazine is removed. 

Lamont said he will also ask lawmakers to make a conviction for a crime involving family violence a bar for holding a state gun permit, closing a loophole that conflicts with federal law. 

“The overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents want commonsense measures enacted that encourage gun safety and prevent harm from impacting our homes and our communities,” Lamont said in a statement. “This is especially needed to prevent tragic accidents, as well as instances of domestic violence and suicide.”

Lawmakers have yet to be given a formal bill containing all of Lamont’s gun violence initiatives for the current legislative session. The governor told reporters last week that his requests will be drafted into legislation as part of his budget proposal this month. 

Critics, however, have already mounted an opposition to Lamont’s efforts, which they argue fails to address issues around the enforcement of the state’s already-strict gun laws. 

“His angst continues to be targeted toward lawful gun owners that responsibly use their firearms for lawful purposes daily, including hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense,” Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, said in a statement last week. “He speaks of protecting the rights of his citizens while at the same time proposing unconstitutional legislation that would deny law-abiding citizens the ability to exercise a God-given right."

Some of the provisions included in this week's announcement — including the requirement that all guns, not just handguns, be sold with trigger locks — were a part of Lamont's initial anti-gun violence package sent to lawmakers last year. Nearly all of the gun control proposals were eventually stripped from that legislation, however, as part of a bi-partisan agreement to address crime.

Connecticut lawmakers last year also passed "Ethan's Law," mandating that gun owners safety store their weapons out-of-reach from children or other people prohibited from accessing firearms. Lamont said he wants to expand the law to make all gun owners responsible for the safe storage of their weapons. 

Lamont has argued that Connecticut’s position as one of the safest states from gun violence is due to the strength of the laws that have been passed here and in neighboring states such as New York and New Jersey.

While a recent uptick in murders and shootings has driven worries over safety, particularly in the state’s largest cities, overall rates of violent crime remain well below the historic highs in Connecticut. 

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