It’s been a month since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy laid out his gun control proposals, but legislative leaders continue to work toward a bipartisan solution and a vote is expected as early as next week.
On Thursday, Malloy reiterated his support for a ban on high capacity magazines and assault weapons with more than one military feature. He released his original proposal on Feb. 21.
Malloy wants to expand the assault weapons ban to include rifles like the Bushmaster AR-15, which a gunman used in Newtown to “kill 26 people in a matter of moments.” When you can kill 26 people with a weapon that expended more than 150 bullets in a short period of time, “that’s an assault weapon and it should not be sold in the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said Thursday.
“When you can attach to that a magazine of 30 bullets or more, they should not be sold in the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said on the steps of Hartford City Hall on Thursday. “They should not be possessed in the state of Connecticut and we should do something about it.”
The proposal to ban high-capacity magazines seemed to slow bipartisan negotiations between legislative leaders, who plan to vote on post-Newtown legislation as early as next Wednesday.
He said Connecticut also needs to send its Congressional delegation back to Washington with the “tools necessary to give personal testimony to the strength of this movement.“
Earlier this week, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy expressed concern about the lack of action on the issue in Connecticut where the shooting occurred. They said their colleagues are looking at what Connecticut does as an example for what will happen nationally.
Blumenthal, who joined Malloy and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra on Thursday for a national day of action on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said Congress needs to act on legislation which makes criminal background checks mandatory for all gun purchases. And while it appears unlikely to pass at the federal level, he called for a ban on high-capacity magazines and reinstatement of an assault weapons ban.
Blumenthal said he would lead the amendment to ban high-capacity magazines.
Mayor Segarra said he’s been on the front line of the gun violence issue for a long time. He lost his father when he was an infant to gun violence.
“Quite simply, it is time,” he said.
But Segarra said there’s only so much he can do. He urged Blumenthal and Congress to act.
“We’re taking action locally but in the end change must happen federally in order to have true impact,” Segarra said. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s what the majority of Americans want.”
Mayors Against illegal Guns will launch its new ad campaign today featuring parents from Newtown.