Legislation Continues Connecticut’s Ongoing Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence while Congress Does Nothing
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today signed into law legislation that bans bump stocks and other enhancements that increase the rate of fire for semiautomatic weapons, including trigger cranks, binary trigger systems, and other modifications. The Governor proposed the ban earlier this year.
Governor Malloy lauded state lawmakers in Connecticut who – on a bipartisan basis – once again came together to pass legislation in the absence of action on the issue by Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., whose allegiance to big money lobbyist in the NRA has kept them from adopting any significant gun violence prevention measures in years.
“Here we are again – individual states are leading on efforts to stop gun violence while leaders in Congress sit on their hands and do nothing,” Governor Malloy said. “It’s good that we were able to pass this law here, and I thank lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for voting to send this bill to my desk, but it’s a shame that Connecticut now joins only a handful of other states that have also banned these devices. This should be the law throughout the entire country. There is no reason why anyone needs to own a device that can fire 90 bullets every 10 seconds but for the mass killing of people. The most effective way of reducing gun violence isn’t through a patchwork in which the states with the weakest laws tolerate giant loopholes that negate efforts made everywhere else. The overwhelming majority of people clearly want this law – I’m glad to sign it today for Connecticut, but this will not stop our efforts to enact it nationally.”
The legislation is Public Act 18-29, An Act Concerning Bump Stocks and Other Means of Enhancing the Rate of Fire of a Firearm.
Similar bans have already been approved in Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Hawaii, and Florida. More than 20 states introduced legislation seeking to ban the devices in the aftermath of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting in Nevada – the deadliest in modern U.S. history in which 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured by a gunman who utilized a bump stock.
While President Trump and some Congressional leaders initially signaled a willingness to ban the devices throughout the country in the days immediately following the mass shooting, they have since reversed course and have not taken action.
“Governor Malloy and legislators have shown strong leadership on gun violence prevention,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “This bill rounds out years of work to protect residents and strengthen public safety. I applaud the Governor and our state officials, and the thousands of allies – residents, businesses, and students – who have worked so hard to build a grassroots effort against gun violence. They have made Connecticut a safer state for us all.”
“Bump stocks are after-market products that can be attached to a semiautomatic gun to make it essentially a fully automatic gun, the weapon we banned five years ago after the tragic mass killing of children and adults in Sandy Hook,” State Representative William Tong (D-Stamford), co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said. “By approving this legislation, we honored the intent of the gun laws we approved five years ago, which state that automatic rifles have no place in our state. While the steps we have taken alone are not enough to end the national epidemic of gun violence, they are moves in the right direction.”
Tom Campbell, who serves on the board of the Newtown Action Alliance, said, “While the feds are still fiddling with a procedural review of bump stocks through the ATF, our people in Hartford – both chambers and the Governor’s office – got to work and put these things on the Big No list. And it was done in bipartisan fashion. Bravo.”
“Our state continues to lead the way in gun safety by passing this life saving, common sense measure,” Jeremy Stein, the Executive Director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, stated. “Bump stocks increase the likelihood of another mass shooting and have no place in Connecticut or the rest of the country. We could also make our children and our families even safer by enacting safer gun storage laws and regulating ghost guns to keep guns out of the hands of prohibited people. We thank Governor Malloy and the General Assembly for their commitment and support of this important legislation.”
“I applaud Governor Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly for banning bump stocks and similar devices, which make an end-run around federal law by turning rifles into machine guns,” John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety, said. “This law is further proof that the leaders of Connecticut are committed to doing everything possible to protect their citizens from gun violence.”
In 2013, Governor Malloy signed historic legislation (Public Act 13-3) providing Connecticut with some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the country. Among the many provisions in the bill, that law banned the sale and possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines; required a clean record, safety training, and a permit to buy rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, whether it is from a gun store or private sale; and required background checks and training for the purchase of all categories of guns. Additionally, the law was changed to provide convicted felons who were caught with ammunition with the same penalty as they would receive if they were caught with a firearm. The bill also increased funding for mental health treatment and school security.
SOURCE; Originally published by PORTAL.CT.GOV on May 31, 2018