Both sides of gun issue pressuring state lawmakers
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -
Both sides of the gun control issue are increasing pressure on Connecticut lawmakers who are close to voting on changes to state law stemming from the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups held a lobby day at the Capitol on Monday.
Since 8 a.m., shuttle buses have been running from Cabella's parking lot to the Legislative Office Building filled with pro-gun activists.
"I'm worried (lawmakers) are going to take away our guns or have to register them," said David Hibbs, of Brooklyn. "It isn't right. It's the Second Amendment. We shouldn't have to do that. That's why we're here."
At one point, there thousands of people from gun owners to gun manufacturers flooded floors of the LOB in support of second amendment rights.
Gun owners from across Connecticut said they came to the lobby day hoping to get the attention of lawmakers.
"Now is not the time to sit," said Colchester resident Joel Koulsek. "It's a time to stand and fight. I can not believe I'm here to justify my right to bear arms."
Local gun manufacturers are here too saying stricter gun laws that would ban assault-style weapons would deal a devastating blow to their business and would hurt Connecticut's economy.
"We indirectly employ thousands across the state," said Mark Malkowski, president and owner of Stag Arms. "The gun industry in Connecticut makes up $1.5 billion in revenue."
Malkowski told Eyewitness News that he's worried Stag Arms will need to leave the state if lawmakers do decide to ban the type of assault style rifles it manufactures.
Many of the activists said they're sympathetic and admit something needs to change after what happened in Newtown. But, they said restricting the rights of legal gun owners is not the answer.
Gun rights have been in the spotlight after Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December.
Lawmakers are considering mandatory criminal background checks, bans on assault style rifles and high capacity magazines.
Many gun supporters told Eyewitness News they don't feel like any of these things being proposed will prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy and new gun laws will only restrict their rights.
On Wednesday, the Newtown Action Alliance will hold their own lobby day in favor of gun control at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:26 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:26:23 GMT
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the all of northern Connecticut until 9 p.m.National Weather Service officials said people should be on the lookout for threatening weather and to pay attentionMore >
Tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in Litchfield county Tuesday evening as severe weather moved into the state.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:03:06 GMT
A family spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the body of a missing Eastern Connecticut State University student was found dismembered. Alyssiah Wiley was last seen since April 20 when she said she wasMore >
A family spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the body of a missing Eastern Connecticut State University student was found dismembered.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:10 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:10:01 GMT
The fiance of a 40-year-old man, who was shot and killed after trying to sell electronics off Craigslist in Hartford, speaks to Eyewitness News for the first time Tuesday. Felix DeJesus, of Cromwell, wasMore >
The girlfriend of a 40-year-old man, who was shot and killed after trying to sell electronics off Craigslist in Hartford, speaks to Eyewitness News for the first time Tuesday.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:58:27 GMT
A New York man was arrested for making threatening phone calls to the families of the victims of the Newtown school shooting and Connecticut lawmakers. On Dec. 14, 20 first graders and six adults wereMore >
A New York man was arrested for making threatening phone calls to the families of the victims of the Newtown school shooting and Connecticut lawmakers.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:40 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:40:27 GMT
A house fire in Ellington may have occured after it was struck by lightning Tuesday night. Few details were being released, but officials said the fire occured at 8 Zimmerman Way just before 8 p.m. ThereMore >
A house in Ellington may have been struck by lightning Tuesday night.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:08 PM EDT2013-05-21 19:08:59 GMT
Two Bristol men were arrested for allegedly stealing $25,000 worth of scrap metal from a business in Southington.Gary M. Desrochers and Nicholas B. Marin are accused of stealing 39,000 pounds of "tool-gradeMore >
Two Bristol men were arrested for allegedly stealing $25,000 worth of scrap metal from a business in Southington.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:07 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:07:15 GMT
The suspect and two children who were subjects of a Massachusetts Amber Alert Monday night were located in South Windsor by Connecticut State Police.More >
A Massachusetts father of two, who is accused of kidnapping his children from a foster home and sparking an Amber Alert Monday night, told a packed courtroom that he's the one who is the victim of a crime.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:31:00 GMT
After thousands of online votes, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the winner of Connecticut's fan favorite town contest Tuesday morning And the winner is Niantic."It just brings everyone together," saidMore >
After thousands of online votes, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the winner of Connecticut's fan favorite town contest Tuesday morningMore >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:45 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:45:05 GMT
A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person that critically injured a 2-year-old during a hit-and-run crash in Bridgeport.Police said Erica Parmlee parked her vehicleMore >
A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person that critically injured a 2-year-old during a hit-and-run crash in Bridgeport.More >