CT's senators join other Democrats to introduce assault weapons - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT's senators join other Democrats to introduce assault weapons ban

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(WFSB file) (WFSB file)
WASHINGTON (WFSB) -

Connecticut's two Democratic senators joined more than a dozen of their colleagues to introduce a Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Dianne Feinstein of California and 19 others released the details of the push on Wednesday.

They said it would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"Weapons of war have no place in our communities," Blumenthal said. "These killing machines have no purpose for self-defense or hunting and they must remain on the battlefield where they belong, not in our churches, schools and theaters. My heart breaks for the innocent lives lost in Texas, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook and far too many towns across America. We must honor their lives with action."

Murphy echoed Blumenthal's statements.

“It's not a coincidence that these guns are used in virtually every mass shooting," he said. "Copycat killers are watching the lethal efficiency of these killing machines and choosing them to carry out their own mass murder. As a recent Trump nominee to the Department of Defense said, it's 'insane' that civilians are allowed to buy these weapons that were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible. These guns aren't used to hunt. You don't need something like this to protect your home. These are killing machines, used by mass murderers, and they shouldn't be sold to the public.”

The push comes after the most recent mass shooting in Texas during which 26 people were shot in a church.

Blumenthal and Murphy immediately took to social media after the shooting to post the need for such a bill.

Scott Wilson Sr., president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, issued a statement after the shooting in which he criticized Blumenthal, Murphy and Gov. Dannel Malloy for "politicizing" the tragedy.

"We are stunned and saddened by this tragedy and lack of respect for human life," Wilson told Channel 3. "Once again our two senators and our governor are using this horrible event to politicize their gun control schemes."

Wilson went on to praise a man whom police said stepped in to stop the shooter with his own firearm.

"The fact that somebody was armed and able to stop this person flies in the face of what our two anti-gun senators often repeat while they are politicizing such events," Wilson said.

The bill's key provisions include:

  • Banning the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners can keep existing weapons. 
  • Banning any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics, including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners can keep existing weapons.
  • Banning magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners can keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to bill include:

  • More than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes. This list will be updated to include additional weapons.
  • A grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

Other provisions include:

  • Requiring a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requiring that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibiting the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Banning bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates. 

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