warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Connecticut Set To Enact Comprehensive Gun Control Legislation

Matt Pressberg |
April 3, 2013 | 7:06 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The Connecticut State Senate approved the bill 26-10. (cliff1066/Flickr)
The Connecticut State Senate approved the bill 26-10. (cliff1066/Flickr)
Less than four months after Connecticut was rocked by the murder of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the state’s Senate late Wednesday approved a comprehensive gun control package that is expected to easily clear the state House and be signed into law by Gov. Dan Malloy Thursday.

As the Hartford Courant reports, the Senate voted 26-10 in favor of an emergency bill that would require background checks on all purchases of guns and ammunition, ban certain semi-automatic rifles commonly termed assault weapons and restrict magazine capacity to 10 rounds.  Notably, the bill would not require owners of heretofore legal larger-capacity magazines to turn them in, which had been discussed. Also, owners of now-banned models of semiautomatic rifles, one of which was used in the Sandy Hook shooting, would be permitted to keep them pending the completion of new registration requirements.

Wednesday’s vote was widely predicted, as these gun control measures enjoy solid bipartisan support in Connecticut. Only two of the Senate’s 22 Democrats voted against the bill, while six of the 14 Republicans supported it.

President Obama has pushed for national regulations modeled along these lines, but a country that on the whole is less enthusiastic about gun control than Connecticut is as a state has made it a more difficult proposition. As a result, while Connecticut is set to go ahead with a sweeping ban on guns categorized as assault weapons, a proposal to do the same nationwide will not be part of the U.S. Senate’s gun control plans.

While leaders of both parties in the Connecticut state government had said the votes were there for an easy passage of the legislation, Wednesday saw plenty of activity at the State Capitol in Hartford, as gun rights advocates swarmed the premises and voiced their opposition by chanting and waving signs.

The debate on the Senate floor was also lively, as a vocal minority expressed strong ideological opposition to the logic behind the bans in the bill. Sen. Anthony Guglielmo (R-Stafford Springs), bluntly told the chamber that he rejected the premise behind the legislation and therefore had no need to even discuss specifics.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Hartford next Monday to use Connecticut’s apparent success in passing sweeping gun control legislation to move the national conversation forward. The president spoke about gun control Wednesday in Colorado, another state that suffered a mass shooting in 2012 and recently passed new gun legislation of its own.

Read more of Neon Tommy’s coverage of gun control here.

Reach Executive Producer Matt Pressberg here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.