Gun safety advocates hold roundtable discussion on guns in Conn.

Gun safety improvement talks held in Waterbury
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 8:29 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 9:59 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, Conn. (WFSB) - Gun safety advocates sat down with Governor Lamont to discuss ways to make Connecticut safer.

One need gun safety advocates are looking to address is the need for more community investment. One event that is looking to accomplish this goal is Waterbury’s National Night Out event.

National Night Out is an event that police departments are holding across the country. The goal of the event is to strengthen the relationship between police departments and their local communities.

Advocates say if the state invested in more events like Waterbury’s National Night Out, we could save more lives from gun violence.

“This is a community issue for all of us,” says Jaquelyn Santiago, a gun safety advocate.

Gun safety advocates agreed Connecticut is ahead when it comes to gun safety. However, they say there is still a lot of work to do.

“I actually have my cousin’s watch sitting on the dresser to remind me of how life can be cut short. He was gunned down at 23-years-old,” says Santiago.

Advocates shared concerns about interstate crime as well as the state’s open carry law. While advocates did highlight the most recent juvenile crime bill, they the state needs still needs to do more to address crime.

“When we talk about long-term investments, we clearly understand the need the need for public safety through law enforcement and other means. No one disputes that. But one of the things we do dispute, what we do have to challenge you with, is when we see one offs. when we see a one-year investment in prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery programs,” says Andrew Woods the executive director of Hartford Communities that Care.

Governor Lamont also committed to making this a priority, saying public safety should be number one. He also shared his big concern when it comes to guns.

“If I had one plea, it’s the number of illegal guns that are flooding onto our streets. It’s like never before. Everything’s more expensive today except for fentanyl and illegal guns.”

On Friday, the State Bond Commission greenlit $1 million in public safety funding for Waterbury.