(HARTFORD, Conn.) — Connecticut lawmakers have reached a deal on what they call some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The measures were proposed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December.
The bill includes a ban on large-capacity ammo magazines, a new registry for existing high-capacity magazines, and background checks for private gun sales.
Nicole Hockley lost her son Dylan in the Sandy Hook shooting. She said Monday in Hartford that she and other victims’ relatives ask, “If those magazines had held 10 rounds, forcing the shooter to reload at least six more times, would our children be alive today?”
State Senate President Donald Williams says Connecticut’s new legislation is the strongest and most comprehensive gun bill in the U.S.
“It goes further than practically any other state in the country and breaks new ground certainly for Connecticut and as national model,” Williams said.
However, some gun rights advocates argue those restrictions will not stop criminals and would infringe on Second Amendment rights.
But that’s not stopping Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who now plans to lead the push to beef up federal gun legislation.
“These high-capacity magazines were involved in the slaughter in Newtown. They were integral to the mass killing because they enabled the shooter to fire 154 rounds in five minutes,” the senator said Monday.
“Connecticut cannot do it alone. No state can do it alone. We need federal enforcement as well as measures that prevent illegal trafficking,” he added.
Sen. Blumenthal said America’s streets are, “endangered by illegally trafficked or straw purchased stolen guns that can cross state borders,” making federal legislation more necessary for nationwide safety.
The Connecticut state legislature will convene Wednesday to finish up work on the measures. A vote is expected as early this week.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Eli Watkins, CNN
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Miranda Green, CNN