Connecticut lawmakers pass sweeping gun control bill in wake of Newtown massacre

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, April 4, 2013 9:23 EDT
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A boy holding two toy guns. Photo: Shutterstock.com.
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Update: Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed the gun control bill into law at 12:21 p.m. EST.

Lawmakers in Connecticut’s House voted in the early hours of Thursday morning to approve a bill that limits the capacity of rifle magazines to 10 rounds, requires background checks for all gun sales and grows the state’s definition of “assault rifle” to ban more than 100 different models across the state, including the one used in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.

The vote passed Connecticut’s Democratic-controlled House 105 to 44, just hours after the similarly liberal Senate approved an identical bill, balloting 26 to 10. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D), who emerged as one of the nation’s biggest proponents of expanded gun control after the slaughter in Newtown, is expected to sign the bill into law later today.

Malloy has been calling for nationwide gun-control legislation starting just two days after the massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead. “These are assault weapons,” he said on the Dec. 16th episode of CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You don’t hunt deer with these things. One can only hope we’ll find a way to limit these weapons that really only have one purpose.”

Despite the apparent stalemate in Congress over gun control, Malloy told The Huffington Post in February that he believes lawmakers will ultimately be forced to act, although he cautioned that Congress is not likely to go as far as his own state did.

Similar gun-control measures are supported by President Barack Obama and many congressional Democrats, who’ve been all but stymied by Republicans on even popular measures like background checks for all gun sales.

“The American public is calling for a comprehensive solution that not only addresses tragic school shootings, but also helps prevent the thousands of senseless gun deaths each year” The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence insisted in a prepared statement this week. “Expanding the background check program, which nine out of ten Americans support, is one place to start.”

Photo: Shutterstock.com.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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