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Proposed stricter gun laws take center stage at CT legislative hearing

FILE: Members of the Newtown Action Alliance and Newtown Interfaith Council hold a vigil May 26, 2022, in the days after the school shooting that killed 19 school children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
FILE: Members of the Newtown Action Alliance and Newtown Interfaith Council hold a vigil May 26, 2022, in the days after the school shooting that killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.

People on both sides of the firearms issue spoke to Connecticut lawmakers at a public hearing Monday on legislation that proposes stricter gun laws.

Gov. Ned Lamont's proposal calls for several reforms, including limiting the sale of handgun purchases to one per month and requiring that people be 21 to buy firearms.

Bridgeport resident Laura Kabel spoke in favor of provisions that would tighten rules for safe gun storage.

She spoke about Tim and Kim Donnelly, who were killed during a robbery in their jewelry store in Fairfield.

“I need to say how much I loved Tim and Kim Donnelly, two incredible individuals I was fortunate to get to know very well when I was growing up,” Kabel said. “A stolen gun was used to murder them in 2005.”

Voluntown resident Hyde Harman spoke against several provisions in the same Democratic gun control bill.

“Under the governor's bill, when I first looked at it, 73 pages, I couldn’t believe it was that long,” Harman said. “There are so many restrictions, it’s hard to know where to start.”

Harman opposed a provision that would ban the open carrying of firearms. He said people should not feel intimidated by other people carrying guns.

Meanwhile, at a Monday news conference, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz spoke in support of a “comprehensive, multifaceted legislative proposal” introduced by Lamont.

She highlighted various aspects of the legislation, which:

  • Bans the open carrying of firearms in public
  • Limits the sale of handgun purchases to one per month
  • Makes updates to the state’s ban on unregistered “ghost guns”
  • Closes loopholes in the state’s assault weapons ban
  • Increases the age to buy firearms to 21

Bysiewicz said the legislation also strengthens the state’s ban on large-capacity magazines and implements a 10-day waiting period before purchasing a firearm.

Lamont defended his proposal earlier this year.

“The overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents want commonsense measures enacted that encourage gun safety and prevent harm from impacting our homes and our communities,” Lamont said in a February statement. “This is especially needed to prevent tragic accidents, as well as instances of domestic violence and suicide.”

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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