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In Wake of Sandy Hook Massacre, Connecticut Pushes Tough New Gun Legislation

State Senator Williams tells Congress to take note: 'The message is: We can get it done here, and they should get it done in their respective states, and nationally in Congress'

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Protesters at the March on Washington for gun control, January 26, 2013. (Photo: Elvert Barnes via Flickr)

Over one hundred days following the brutal Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Connecticut legislative leaders announced Monday that they had agreed on what they called the most "far-reaching gun legislation package in the country."

The proposal goes before both houses on Wednesday and is expected to be passed into law.

Among other things, the legislation imposes a ban on the sale of new high-capacity ammunition magazines, background checks for private gun sales, adds more than 100 new assault weapons to the list of those already banned by the state, and requires new state-issued eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition.

However, the legislation fell short of a complete ban on the ownership of high capacity magazines, despite a dramatic plea on Monday from relatives of 11 of the victims killed at Sandy Hook.

Instead, the legislation bans the sale of magazines that carry 10 or more bullets and requires gun owners to register their existing high-capacity magazines. The same goes for newly banned assault weapons—existing guns are subject to registration but not confiscation.

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence told the New York Times that, because of the failure to approve a high-capacity possession ban, the bill would have "little effect on handgun violence." But, he added, “When you take all the elements and compare it, I think you could judiciously say this is the strongest bill in the nation.”

State Senate President Donald Williams (D) said lawmakers nationwide should take note: “The message is: We can get it done here, and they should get it done in their respective states, and nationally in Congress.”


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