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News From

State Senator

Beth Bye

Assistant Majority Leader

Representing Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington & West Hartford

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Contact: Lawrence Cook
860-240-8609

December 20, 2012

Bye, Representative Godfrey to Introduce Package of Firearms, Ammunition Laws

In the wake of the tragic December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton which killed 20 children and six adults, state Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) and state Rep. Bob Godfrey (D-Danbury) said today that they will introduce in the upcoming 2013 legislative session a comprehensive series of proposals focused on limiting access in Connecticut to high-capacity weapons, assault weapons and ammunition.

Sen. Bye and Rep. Godfrey‘s proposals—which will be packaged as one bill—will seek to:

  • Prohibit the sale and possession of any rifle, shotgun or pistol magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds;
  • Expand the definition of an ‘assault weapon’ under current Connecticut state law to apply to firearms which exhibit just one particular physical trait, as opposed to two (i.e., the presence of a pistol grip beneath the action of the weapon);
  • Require the registration with state law enforcement officials—and the biennial registration renewal—of all firearms by model and serial number;
  • Institute a 50-percent sales tax on the sale of ammunition and firearms magazines;
  • Require a permit to purchase ammunition;
  • Prohibit the online purchase of ammunition;
  • Prohibit the purchase of ammunition in Connecticut by anyone who is not legally authorized to possess a firearm in Connecticut;
  • Prohibit the storage of firearms and ammunition in a manner that allows access by persons under age 18.

“Every constituent I have spoken to since this horrific event has demanded action,” Sen. Bye said. “They simply cannot fathom why we continue to pay such an awful price for such free access to firearms. I cannot either, and I plan to work very closely with both national and state experts to craft meaningful laws and reforms that will have a real and lasting effect on stemming the access to dangerous weapons here in Connecticut.”

“We have a unique opportunity to revisit our regulations and update them. We must focus on what are truly weapons of mass destruction, as we tragically learned last week, “ said Rep. Godfrey, who sponsored Connecticut‘s original assault weapons ban and the ‘Kids and Guns Act’ in the early 1990s. “The 1993 ban on assault-style weapons was upheld by the Connecticut Supreme Court, but more needs to be done. We need to look at the definition of what is an assault weapon.”

“Beyond that, we will also need to look at mental health services and create more opportunities for intervention—in and out of our schools—before violence happens,” Rep. Godfrey added. “And we must as a society work to remove the stigma wrongly associated with mental illness.”

“We are in the middle of a mental health services crisis here in Connecticut and across America,” Sen. Bye said. “This is a serious problem which requires a serious, long-term solution. Until that solution is crafted, however, we must do everything in our power to ensure that those people who have a desire to cause harm to others cannot do so with a firearm. It is our responsibility to act now to prevent future gun violence, and it will be our everlasting shame if we do not.”

 

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Lawrence Cook
860-240-8609

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Room 2700
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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