On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives will introduce a bill intended to prevent convicted criminals and the “dangerously mentally ill” from obtaining firearms.

The bill, will be introduced by Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA, along with U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, Rep. Bob Dold, R-IL, and Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y.

—Click here to receive email updates from DC NEWS JUNKIE!

“The current loopholes that allow criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to buy guns over the Internet or at a gun show without a background check put our families at risk,” Esty said in a release. “It’s time for Congress to listen to the voices of over 90 percent of Americans, including the majority of gun owners, and expand background checks to cover every commercial gun sale.”

Two years ago, Thompson and U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., introduced similar legislation. Like the current version, that bill was intended to strengthen and widen rules on background checks.

“This bill is comprehensive, it is enforceable, it will save lives, and it will protect the rights of law abiding Americans to own guns. It’s time for Congress to act,” Thomson and King said in a joint statement in 2013.

A companion version of the 2013 bill stalled in the Senate.

Along with the elected representatives planning to appear at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, co-founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, will formally announce the introduction of the bipartisan legislation.

Senators Seek to Boost the Economy With Beer

Connecticut’s Sen. Christopher Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal co-sponsored legislation last month they say could help boost the state’s economy, through beer.

The Small BREW Act, H.R. 232, introduced in the House back in January, would lower the federal excise tax for brewers producing less than 2 million barrels a year from $7 to $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels, and from $18 to $16 on every additional barrel.

“By reducing the burden of the excise tax, Connecticut’s small breweries —  like Two Roads in Stratford, and Thomas Hooker in Bloomfield —  will be able to spend potentially millions more on developing their own small businesses, and strengthening our economy,” Blumenthal and Murphy said in a joint statement.

The Senate version of the bill, S.37, was sent to the Committee on Finance.

Blumenthal Wants Effective Product Recalls

Connecticut’s Sen. Richard Blumenthal introduced a bill Monday that would force state Departments of Motor Vehicles to notify car owners of open safety recalls.

According to a release issued Monday, there were approximately 64 million vehicle recalls “due to potentially deadly safety defects” during 2014. Blumenthal’s office specifically mentioned ignition switch problems in GM vehicles and exploding airbags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata.

“Unrepaired safety defects endanger everyone on America’s roadways. Important recall notices can get bogged down with legalese, and busy consumers can miss a lifesaving update,” Blumenthal said in a release. “This legislation provides a common-sense avenue to ensure every driver is reminded and encouraged to make the necessary repairs and keep unsafe cars off the roads.”

The Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives (RECALL) Act would both require the state DMV to inform car owners of product recalls and would require owners to fix safety recall issues before renewing their registration.

Jordan Fenster is an award-winning freelance journalist. He lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.

*    *    *    *    *

EDITOR’S NOTE: Introducing CTNewsJunkie’s latest offering – a twice weekly update on Connecticut’s congressional delegates and what they have been up to at the nation’s Capitol.

We are launching this feature in conjunction with our installation of new software from VoteTocracy.com, which provides a database of information on bills and lawmakers from around the country, and the option to register with VoteTocracy to vote “yes” or “no” on bills your delegates are considering.

Just float your mouse over the highlighted words below, and windows will pop up to provide you with more information. VoteTocracy is free for you to use. Just follow instructions to register and let your voice be heard. Click here for more info on VoteTocracy. We hope you enjoy this new feature!