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Connecticut Cities Join Group To Compel Gun Manufacturers To Heighten Safety

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Six Connecticut cities have joined an effort by over two dozen cities and counties across the country to reduce gun deaths. The Gun Safety Consortium wants manufacturers to produce safety devices to prevent gun theft, suicides and accidental shootings.

Bridgeport, Connecticut, is one of the cities. Mayor Joe Ganim, who was first in office in the 1990s, joined the national coalition of cities that unsuccessfully sued gun manufacturers.

Ganim hopes this time would be more successful because it's using the buying power of city police forces to get manufacturers to produce safer products.

“Testing out these safer guns. These smart guns. This new technology, 30 years since we brought the lawsuits now, maybe with an eye to having the type of impact we wanted to have back then, but let’s have it now,” Ganim said.

Ganim said this way does not require Congress or state legislators to pass new laws, which often gets bogged down in partisan politics.

Daryl Green is police chief for Lansing, Michigan. He said the Gun Safety Consortium has issued a request for proposal to innovators seeking smart gun locking devices that would be as simple and effective as how a smartphone locks.

“We are actually in discussions with leading developers concerning smart guns. But the reality is there is no such product in the market in 2021,” Green said.

Green said tens of thousands of unsecured guns are used in suicides each year. Hundreds of thousands are stolen from homes and vehicles and end up in the illegal market. And hundreds of children find unsecured guns and pull the trigger.

Other Connecticut cities that have joined the consortium include New Haven, Hartford, Norwalk, Hamden and Milford.

Copyright 2021 WSHU

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.

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