HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Advocates for gun rights and gun control packed a legislative hearing on several firearms bills.
The Judiciary Committee's hearing happened at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday morning.
The proposals discussed brought on a flood of written testimony.
It is meant to toughen gun storage laws following the death of a 15-year-old boy in Guilford.
“What Ethan’s Law does is a very simple thing," said Rep. Sean Scanlon, a Democrat representing Guilford. "It ensures that every single firearm, whether it’s loaded or unloaded is safely stored if it’s in a home or in reach of a minor.”
Police said Ethan Song accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun owned by his friend's father.
“Here’s what I'd love to do," said Mike Song, Ethan's father. "I'd love to get up in the morning, go downstairs, wait for the kids to come down, have breakfast with them, give them a hug and tell them that I love them. I can’t do that with Ethan now.”
Ethan's parents were among those at a news conference prior to the hearing.
"This was a smart, funny kid who made a bad choice about picking up a gun," said Ethan's mom Kristin Song.
They, along with Mark Barden whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, showed support for the safe gun storage bill.
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League issued a statement in which it acknowledged the tragedy that struck Ethan's family.
"We oppose the present language [of the bill,] but we are holding on to hope that changes to the bill could help us ultimately support it," said Scott Wilson, CCDL president.
Wilson said he's pushing for education to be an important component of the bill.
“We’re on record stating that if they implement, if and only if they implement the school educational proponent, we can actually get behind and support the bill depending on what the final language is," he said.
He went on to say, "In 1990, school curriculum was part of the act that passed however the state Board of Education and the Police Chiefs Association never did anything to implement the act."
Mike Song said he also supports education on the matter.
Other bills expected to be discussed at the hearing include prohibiting cities and towns from imposing their own firearms laws and regulating so-called "ghost guns" that can be assembled by buyers or made with 3D printers.