The Democrat-controlled Connecticut Legislature is likely to approve a series of gun-control measures that, if approved by Governor Dannel P. Malloy this week, would give the State broad and comprehensive power over individuals’ acquiring, owning and keeping track of firearms.
Members of both political parties are backing the measure in the State Legislature. Malloy, who has been outspoken in his push for the State to adopt tougher laws against gun ownership, had not gone on record Tuesday indicating whether he would approve the agreement, but State lawmakers said they expect him to sign the bill into law.
In an agreement Republican Senate Minority Leader John McKinney described as “a package that the majority of the people of Connecticut I know will be proud of,” lawmakers portrayed the deal, in part, as an admonition to Congress that “bipartisan” support for a gun control bill at the Federal level is both possible and desirable.
“In Connecticut, we’ve broken the mold,” Democratic Senator Donald Williams Jr. boasted. “Democrats and Republicans were able to come to an agreement on a strong, comprehensive bill. That is a message that should resound in 49 other states and in Washington, D.C. And the message is: We can get it done here and they should get it done in their respective states and nationally in Congress.”
Among other measures, the new legislation would do the following:
- Ban the sale of “high-capacity” magazines.
- Require immediate background checks for all gun sales.
- Require background checks for even private gun sales.
- Create a new database for mandatory registration of existing magazines that hold 10 or more rounds.
- Create a statewide “dangerous weapon offender” registry — the first of its kind in the United States.
- Expand the State’s assault weapons ban to include more than 100 models of firearms.
- Set the minimum age for buying a semiautomatic weapon at 21.
- Increase penalties for “firearms trafficking” and “illegal possession” offenses.
Connecticut has remained a ground-zero talking point for gun-grabbing legislators, governors, mayors, Congressmen and President Barack Obama since last December’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown.
A legislative vote is expected to pass the bill on to the Governor today.