New gun violence legislation proposals include banning open carry in public

Tougher gun laws proposed
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:40 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 2:15 PM EST
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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut’s governor, health officials, and mayors held a news conference Monday morning to discuss legislation aimed at the reduction of gun violence.

Channel 3 learned the legislation will be part of the Gov. Ned Lamont’s package of priorities that he will present to the Connecticut General Assembly next month.

The news conference started at 11 a.m. at the Waterbury Police Department:

Lamont was joined by Manisha Juthani, MD, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, Attorney General William Tong, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

The proposals Lamont announced included:

  • Investing $2.5 million in community violence intervention programs.
  • Banning the open carrying of firearms in public, while continuing to allow concealed carry with a permit except in particular locations.
  • Limiting handgun purchases to one per month to discourage straw purchases.
  • Updating the state’s ban on unregistered “ghost guns” to stop their illegal flow.

The proposals were among the first set that Lamont planned to introduce this year.

“National statistics show that Connecticut remains one of the safest states in the country and violent crime has been decreasing here over the last several years, but even one shooting is one too many,” Lamont said. “It’s our responsibility to implement policies that keep our homes and our neighborhoods safe, and we have to take every opportunity to keep our residents protected. These commonsense reforms will protect our neighborhoods and the people who live in them.”

Connecticut’s governor, health officials, and mayors held a news conference Monday morning to discuss legislation aimed at the reduction of gun violence.

Additional proposals on this subject will be announced in the coming days, the governor said.

Some state lawmakers have been pushing to reintroduce “Ethan’s Law” at the federal level.

Ethan’s Law is a Connecticut law named after 15-year-old Ethan Song, a Guilford teen who was killed with an unsecured gun at a friends home. It requires gun owners to properly store and lock away their firearms.

Sunday, following a mass shooting in Monterey Park, CA, Lamont released a statement that said:

“Connecticut knows this pain all too well, better than most,” said Tong.

“You can’t be serious about gun violence if you are not serious about guns,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

The most controversial one could be the limit on handgun purchases.

“These new proposals will do more to harass and restrict law-abiding citizens from exercising their Constitutional Rights, and little to curb the increased violent crime sweeping through our state,” said Republican Rep. Craig Fishbein.

Perhaps the least contentious is giving more money to youth programs.

The North End Recreation Center helps kids of all ages. Many have seen a gun.

“Absolutely that’s one of the things that is taking a toll on our city, everybody says Waterbury is bad Waterbury is bad, I don’t think Waterbury is bad I just don’t think kids know what to do,” said Marguerite Heyward Bowen with the North End Recreation Center.

The governor’s proposal puts an additional $2.5 million into community programs.

The Newtown Action Alliance on Monday also released a statement about the Monterey Park shooting in which it said California Sen. Diane Feinstein plans to reintroduce a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines on the federal level.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League released a statement on the proposals:

Lawmakers push for tougher gun laws
Connecticut’s governor is expected to hold a news conference Monday morning to discuss legislation aimed at the reduction of gun violence.
The Governor is expected to announce new gun legislation proposals today in Waterbury.