Advocates testify against bump stocks, 'ghost' guns - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Advocates testify against bump stocks, 'ghost' guns

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Connecticut State Police Firearms Unit shows the media how bump stocks work. (WFSB file photo) Connecticut State Police Firearms Unit shows the media how bump stocks work. (WFSB file photo)

Dozens of people are expected to testify before state lawmakers on proposals to ban bump stocks and regulate so-called "ghost" guns made from parts ordered online.

Testimony began Friday before the legislature's Judiciary Committee.

More than 300 people submitted written testimony on the proposals. The bills are being supported by gun control advocates and opposed by gun rights supporters.

One bill would ban bump stock devices designed to make semi-automatic rifles mimic fully automatic weapons.

The other would regulate ghost guns, which can be made from parts bought on the internet. The proposal would require people to engrave serial numbers on the weapons and register them with the state.

The hearing comes a day before gun violence protests planned worldwide in response to last month's school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

In a statement on Friday, Gov. Dannel Malloy said "We cannot sit back while Congress continues to capitulate to the demands of the NRA over the demands of the American people,” Governor Malloy wrote in his testimony to lawmakers. Let us do what Congress cannot and will not do – let us work together to close dangerous loopholes and ban bump stocks in the State of Connecticut.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney also released a statement saying “Semi-automatic weapons with a bump stock device have been used in a mass shooting where clearly accuracy was not an important criterion to the shooter. There is no legitimate reason why bump stocks should be owned or sold in our state. “Ghost guns” are guns that do not have serial numbers, most commonly because they are sold only partially assembled and thus are not required by current law to have a serial number. House Bill 5540, An Act Concerning Ghost Guns and the Permit Application Process, would close these loopholes and ban guns without serial numbers; it would also regulate firearms that are sold in a partially assembled state or are homemade.  In addition, the bill would permit local authorities to interview immediate family members as part of a determination of an applicant’s suitability.  Essentially, a person who wants to own the equivalent of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle or a Glock semi-automatic pistol but who cannot legally own these weapons can purchase these weapons in a partially assembled state, assemble the parts and then own an equivalent weapon. There is generally no background check and no registration required.  It is easy to obtain these parts from websites where an AR-15 ‘lower receiver’ can cost as little as $65 and an AR-15 ‘jig set’ costs $37.  Clearly these sites are meant to exploit loopholes in gun control regulation. Connecticut should close this loophole and make our state safer.”

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