Advocates, CT lawmakers call for tougher gun control laws in New - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Advocates, CT lawmakers call for tougher gun control laws in New Haven

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New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell speaks at a gun control rally on Friday. (WFSB) New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell speaks at a gun control rally on Friday. (WFSB)
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

The fight for stricter gun control laws headed to New Haven on Friday morning.

The heated debate has come to the forefront once again following the Las Vegas shooting. Now, however, there appears to be some willingness from Republicans to take some action.

Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, spoke in front of the New Haven Police Department on Friday morning to call on Congress to do more to prevent gun violence. They said they want more "common sense" measures when it comes to gun control.

"Condolences and sympathies are not enough, we must honor the victims with action," Blumenthal said. 

During the gun control rally, Murphy and Blumenthal said they will submit a universal background check bill later this fall. Murphy added if there is going to be change, it won't come from inside of Washington, DC. 

"We have stood on the Senate floor for 15 hours. We have sat in for 24 hours in the house of representative. We've talked to everybody we can talk to. We have persuaded. We have cajoled," Murphy said.

"We have shamed, and yet ultimately, things won't change in Washington until the people who are voting against 90% of their constituents wishes, actually think they are going to lose an election because of it," Murphy said.

Murphy also tweeted the Democrats have introduced a "slate of bills that would prevent gun violence." 

Blumenthal and Murphy submitted a bill in the Senate that would ban bump stocks. The devices, which are legal, were used by the Las Vegas gunman to make his rifles fire like a fully automatic weapon.

Some congressional Republicans said they are open to considering legislation banning what's called a "bump stock," which the Las Vegas shooter used to make a semi-automatic rifle perform more like a fully automatic one. House Speaker Paul Ryan said they want to look into it.

The National Rifle Association said it would do the same. The NRA also signaled its support and said the devices should be subjected to additional regulations.

Eyewitness News spoke with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League on Thursday to get their reaction to these developments.

“Bump fire stocks as they're known as have been reviewed before in the past and have been given the thumbs up under the Obama administration,” CCDL President Scott Wilson said.

Wilson argues the bump stock, even if outlawed, is easy to manufacture at home. 

“It's not surprising that they would review it and I think it's virtually unavoidable at this point,” Wilson said.

Others said it should be up to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate the devices, not legislation from Congress.

"No one is asking for any impediment on someone's constitutional rights, but what we're asking for is common sense legislation, so situations like what happened in Las Vegas, or what happened in this state, up in Sandy Hook can never happen again," New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell said. 

DeLauro said by doing nothing that's exactly what will happen. 

"When we saw Sandy Hook, we said never again. Columbine, we said never again. Aurora, we said never again. San Bernardino, never again. Orlando, never again, DeLauro said. "Las Vegas, how can we say never again, when it continues to happen, over and over again?"

 Murphy, Blumenthal and DeLauro said they feel Congress is reaching a tipping point at least on bump stocks. They said there has never been bipartisan support for anything like this before, when it comes to gun control. 

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