CT congresswoman sponsoring new gun control bill - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT congresswoman sponsoring new gun control bill

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WASHINGTON (WFSB) -

The fight for strong gun laws continues in Congress.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives will take a look at a bill that limits high capacity magazines. It's being sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who represents Newtown.  

Esty was joined by Nevada lawmakers for a push they believe will save lives. It comes in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds more were hurt after a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas earlier this month.

"One mass shooting is too many. The time to learn the lessons of these tragic events has come," Esty tweeted. 

“There is simply no good reason why sportsmen and women need more than ten rounds in a magazine. No sportsman or woman needs thirty rounds to kill a deer. It’s shameful that we protect our deer better than we protect our people," Esty said. 

Esty said it would ban the transfer, importation or possession of magazines that are able to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

"Ten rounds are the standard in my home state of Connecticut and it was the national standard from 1994 to 2004," Esty said during an afternoon news conference. "Since that law lapsed, many of my colleagues including some of those standing with me today have joined the mass shooters club, a club nobody wants to belong to."

Lawmakers in the Senate said they are also looking at banning "bump stocks" which are devices that allow guns to fire more like a fully-automatic weapon.

Esty has been pushing for stronger gun control measures since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“The horror that the shooter at Sandy Hook was able to inflict with high-capacity magazines is something I have never forgotten,” Esty said. “I became more convinced after every mass shooting that large-capacity magazines serve no other viable purpose but to maximize the loss of human life. Our schools, churches, movie theaters, concerts, offices, and shopping theaters have been turned into brutal killing fields, and it must stop now. 

Chair of the Newtown Action Alliance & The Newtown Foundation Po Murray said "Military-style assault weapons with high capacity magazines have been used in high-profile mass shooting incidents during the last five years."  

“The high capacity magazines reduce the time needed for the shooter to reload the weapon therefore a large number of people are killed in the shortest time possible," Murray said in a statement on Thursday. "During the tragic mass shooting incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, six children lived through the horror when the gunman's weapon jammed while he was attempting to reload his 30-round magazine. Reducing the size of the magazines will make it harder for mass shooters to cause maximum damage and save countless American lives in the future.”

The new legislation is called the Keep Americans Safe Act, which is being endorsed by International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the veterans’ organization VoteVets, the gun owners’ group American Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership as well as major gun violence prevention organizations throughout the country.

“High capacity magazines serve one purpose – to allow a shooter to fire upwards of 30, 50, or 100 rounds as fast as they can squeeze the trigger without having to stop and reload,” Chelsea Parsons, who is the vice president of Guns and Crime Policy at the Center for American Progress said in a statement on Thursday. “These magazines have nothing to do with hunting or self-defense and instead only enable dangerous individuals bent on doing harm to inflict a maximum amount of damage with minimal effort. High capacity magazines are a key factor in the high casualty count of many shootings and this bill is a strong step forward in closing this gap in the federal law that endangers all of our communities.”

Esty called for other lawmakers to join the cause. 

“We need to say that enough is enough. I hope my colleagues will join me in support of this legislation," she said.

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