Gov. Lamont’s proposals to address gun violence reviewed at public hearing
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - State leaders started to tackle gun violence in Connecticut from multiple angles during a public hearing on Monday.
Monday morning, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz participated in a news conference to discuss a sweeping new bill from Gov. Ned Lamont that would bring new regulations to buying and owning firearms.
It started at 10 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Attorney General William Tong joined Bysiewicz alongside anti-gun violence advocates for the news conference.
The legislation under review by the judiciary committee covers pretty much every aspect of gun buying and ownership, lawmakers said.
Groups and lawmakers are clashing on this.
While the state said the package will reduce gun violence, opposition feels it will only hurt people who legally own and carry guns.
“This powerful bill will help at every level,” said Deborah Davis.
Davis doesn’t want more mothers to feel her pain of losing a son to gun violence.
Davis’ son Phillip was killed in 2010.
“Our children, young children are getting ahold of weapons with no business handling them and not knowing how,” said Davis, with Mothers United Against Violence.
Davis supports a comprehensive gun bill package.
The judiciary committee reviewed the bill and heard testimony from both sides Monday.
The Lamont administration said it will help with Connecticut’s gun and crime problems while keeping children safe.
“Although we’re one of the safest states in the country we still experience gun violence in our communities in Connecticut, said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
Open carry of firearms would be banned in Connecticut under the new bill, and handgun purchases would be limited to one per month.
The minimum age to buy a firearm in the state would also be raised to 21.
The bill would close loopholes in the state’s assault weapons ban and further aim to strengthen bands on large-capacity magazines.
Lamont’s bill would implement a 10-day waiting period before buying a firearm and update the state’s ban on illegal “ghost guns.”
It would also require safely storing all guns, regardless of if a minor is living there or not.
That’s what Tara Donnelly is fighting for. Her parents were murdered at their jewelry store after a man stole an unsecure gun from a house he was robbing.
“Had this been the law in February 2005 my mom and dad would still be here today,” Donnelly said.
Holly Sullivan opposes the package. She’s president of the Connecticut Citizen Defense League, a prominent gun rights group.
“We have a crime problem in this state. We have a rampant crime problem in this state. But the items in this bill are not solving those problems. What they’re doing is putting additional restrictions on people who are background checked, vetted are law abiding people who fill out paperwork, pay for their permits all of those things,” Sullivan said.
The legislation is also expected to meet stiff opposition from Republicans.
Republicans like Rep. Greg Howard, who represents the state’s 43rd District, said they completely oppose the bill.
Lamont said the proposal would help keep citizens safe.
“What we have done [was] to get those illegal guns off our street and make [laws] more enforceable for police officers to do that,” Lamont said.
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