Governor Lamont’s sweeping gun control bill passes in the house

Stopping gun violence is the big issue at the state capitol today.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:43 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 11:19 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Stopping gun violence is the big issue at the state capitol today.

120 Americans are killed every day in this country.

Governor Lamont’s gun bills have crossed their first hurdle.

This may be one bill, but there are lots of proposals.

Unlike previous debates on gun bills, like after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, today’s debate was quick.

Gun violence is a priority of Governor Lamont’s, and Democrats had the votes.

“Gun violence is an epidemic. There have been more mass shootings than the number of days,” said Rep. Steve Stafstrom, (D), Judiciary Committee.

To prevent another mass shooting and reduce crime, Lamont wants to ban carrying firearms openly in public, ban ghost guns that are not registered or serialized, limit purchases to 3 handguns in a 30-day period, and expand safe storage.

“I think we have strong support for the gun safety laws. Especially with all the mass killings we have seen across the country,” Governor Lamont said.

Some of the proposals won’t get support from Republicans.

“There are members who feel we should be doing more to go after the actual criminal act and not go after law-abiding gun owners,” said Rep. Vinnie Candelora, (R), Minority Leader.

“I’m glad that they’re trying to make it more difficult for criminals to get guns, but don’t infringe on my rights as a responsible citizen who does the right thing, who keeps hers locked and hidden, who went through the whole process to get it legally,” said Anne Wilson, Middletown.

“There’s nothing in this bill that’s going to prevent that. It’s really encouraging responsible gun ownership,” added Jeremy Stein, Executive Director, Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

Connecticut Against Gun Violence says this is a step in the right direction to make Connecticut safer.

“These are just simple laws, these are common sense gun safety laws that will save lives and they will work as they already have,” Stein said.

Those against it say this isn’t the solution.

Connecticut Citizens Defense League says more action needs to be taken against “criminals.”

“Criminals are a problem here. Urban violence is a problem here. Open carry is not, so the fact that that was made a priority really is very telling of what the intentions were of this bill,” said Holly Sullivan, President, Connecticut Citizens Defense League. “A criminal wants a gun, they’re going to find a way to get it.”

Tara Donnelly’s parents were murdered with a stolen gun.

“I relive it in some capacity every day,” said Tara.

Kim and Tim Donnelly owned a jewelry store in Fairfield.

In 2005, they were shot and killed by Christopher Demeo, who had robbed a Greenwich home and stolen the owner’s handgun.

Governor Lamont’s sweeping gun control bill requires safe storage of all firearms, not only in homes where a minor may have access.

“We really have to keep pushing the rock uphill to save lives. There is really nothing more valuable than human life,” Tara said.

This is the biggest update to firearm laws since legislation following Sandy Hook.

“Guns are the leading cause of death for children in the United States,” said Jeremy Stein, Executive Director, Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

The bill now goes to the Senate before it’s signed into law. A vote could happen next week.

Stopping gun violence is the big issue at the state capitol today.