While the U.S. Senate failed miserably, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation. The new law bans some weapons as well as the sale or purchase of high-capacity magazines like those used in the Newtown shooting in December that left 20 children and six adults dead. It also requires background checks for all gun purchases. Gov. Malloy had this to say at the signing ceremony:
This is a profoundly emotional day, I think, for everyone in this room. We have come together in a way that relatively few places in our nation have demonstrated an ability to do. Today does not mark the end of our efforts to combat gun violence.
With the governor’s signature, Connecticut became the third state to pass such tough measures since the December rampage in Newtown. New York and Colorado passed gun-control legislation limiting magazine capacity, among other provisions. Unfortunately, as we all know, things are bogged down in Congress. This is hard to justify considering the overwhelming public support for background checks and strong support for other major gun restrictions in the wake of the Newtown killings. Democrats and Republicans in Connecticut were able to come to an agreement on a strong, comprehensive bill despite strong opposition from the NRA. That took political courage, something that is badly needed in Congress.
The legislation also does a number of other things such as:
• Creates the nation’s first statewide registry of people convicted of crimes involving the use or threat of dangerous weapons. The registry will be available only to law enforcement agencies.
• Requires eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition, and significantly increases penalties for illegal possession and trafficking of guns.
• Requires background checks for all firearms sales, including at gun shows, and creates safety standards for school buildings.
Lawmakers in 36 states also have proposed legislation that would negate federal gun control initiatives, according to the non-profit Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group.
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