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UConn Law Holds Panel on Second Amendment and Gun Control

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On Friday, UConn School of Law hosted a panel discussion about the second amendment and gun control in the wake of high-profile tragedies like the Newtown school shootings. 

The student-run journal, The Connecticut Law Review, organized the day-long panel at William F. Starr Hall on the Hartford campus.

Connecticut's Governor Dannel Malloy gave opening remarks. He told the audience of legal scholars and practitioners that Connecticut supports the constitutional right to own firearms but he says no right is without its limitations.

Malloy said the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School almost one year ago plunged the state into the debate on guns and gun control. He recounted the stricter gun regulations he signed into law earlier this year. But he told the audience made up of legal scholars and practitioners that those who believe there should be no limitations on the second amendment are wrong.

Malloy said, "I think there's a long history and body of law in the United States that demonstrates they're wrong. In the 1930s, machine guns were the weapon of choice for mobsters. We collectively decided that machine guns should be illegal for private possession in the United States. We don't see machine guns being used in the U.S. in crimes. We did for some time after the ban was initially implemented but theres' a reality about what happens to those kinds of weapons once they become illegal."

Malloy said states should have the right to decide on appropriate regulations within the context of the U.S and state constitutions. He offered up examples like preventing the mentally ill and violent criminals from owning guns. He said he hopes the federal government will pass laws giving these states the legal framework to prevent certain guns from flowing into their state.

Panelists throughout the day spoke on several issues including legislative response to gun violence and litigating the second amendment. The discussion will be outlined in future journals of The Connecticut Law Review.

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