Fairfield County Parents Push For High-Capacity Magazine Ban in CT

Residents are teaming up with the group Connecticut Against Gun Violence to get this legislation pushed through the General Assembly.


Parents from across Fairfield County are joining forces with the group Connecticut Against Gun Violence to better address the question, "What can we do to ensure the safety of our children?"

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- one that left 20 children and six teachers and administrators dead -- more than 200 parents met at Westport's Christ and Holy Church on Monday to discuss how to prevent another mass shooting.

Their answer? Pass a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines in the state of Connecticut.

"This piece of legislation failed to get through two years ago, but we think the time is ripe now," Meg Staunton, one of the organizer's of Monday's meeting, said.

"Hopefully we have the numbers to bring to Hartford to show them," she added, referring to the crowd that came out to the meeting Monday.

This new coalition of parents and residents plans to march on the Capitol on March 14, which would both mark three months since the shooting and come around the time the legislation would be debated in the General Assembly.

"This is a bill that needs our support," Nancy Lefkowitz, another organizer of Monday's meeting, said. "With your continued participation, we can prevail."

Connecticut's existing gun laws are ranked the fourth strongest in the nation, according to Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

"We do have an assault weapons ban; we have closed the gun show loophole," he said, adding that Connecticut has a gun seizure law, relies on state background checks, requires residents to report lost or stolen firearms, and conducts background checks for gun transfers.

"But strong state laws aren't enough without federal laws," Pinciario said.

The nation must address gun violence in the United States two different ways, according to Pinciaro: through the "incredible proliferation of guns" and "the incredible firepower these guns have now."

In Connecticut, a ban of large capacity ammunition magazines would help address the latter. Connecticut is the only one of seven states with an assault weapons ban that does not have a ban on large capacity magazines, according to Pinciaro.

And as far as the proliferation of guns -- "that must stop at the federal level," Pinciaro said, adding that 300 million guns have been sold in the United States.

"It's not a single law. It's changing a culture. It's the battle fought against the tobacco industry," he explained. "That took time, but it worked."

U.S. Congressman Jim Himes, who spoke briefly at the meeting, cautioned that bringing about both state and federal regulations will require a sustained effort.

"We face a really, really hard policy change," Himes said, but added that the Connecticut's delegation to Washington, D.C. stands with the parents.

"You don't need to change your minds -- you need to change other people's minds to truly make this a national effort," Himes said.

Pinciaro believes that the start to this national effort can be successful in Connecticut.

"If you can get 2,000 mothers up to the Capitol on [March 14], they'll pass this ban," he said. "I only hope that when this news cycle ends... I hope your commitment to us doesn't end." 

Pgmr9 December 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Oh yea, Gun Control from a government that gave guns to Mexican Drug Cartels


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