After legislation passed Connecticut's general assembly in the early hours of Thursday, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the bill into law Thursday afternoon, giving Connecticut sweeping new gun laws that include expanded bans on high-powered weapons, high-capacity magazines and universal background checks.
"In some sense, I hope this is an example to the rest of the nation," he said. "Certainly to our leaders in Washington, who seem so deeply divided on an issue like universal background checks, when the country is not divided itself."
Malloy said around 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks for those purchasing guns, one of the stipulations in the new law.
"We can never undo " said Malloy. "But we can make Connecticut towns and cities safer, and this bill does that."
After the Connecticut legislature's bipartisan task force set up in the aftermath of the shooting brought back recommendations for extensive changes, the general assembly passed through the legislation in a marathon session. Some, including parents of victims, had called for extensive changes after the shooting.
Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) praised the actions of state lawmakers in a statement released Thursday afternoon and urged Congress to "follow suit sooner rather than later."
"This is an important moment for a state still grappling with an unspeakable tragedy, and I am encouraged by the fact that nearly every legislator from Southwest Connecticut—both Democrats and Republicans—voted for these important reforms," he said. "I applaud the Governor and Connecticut legislators for putting partisan politics aside and doing what is right to protect our children and families."
Malloy said he has set August 1 as a deadline for the structures within the bill to be put in place, saying he met with law enforcement officials Thursday morning to discuss a timeframe.
- Expands the existing Connecticut Assault Weapons Ban to include more high-powered weapons
- Bans the sale of high-capacity magazines and requires registration for those who currently own high-capacity magazines
- Establishes universal background checks for firearms
- Sets up a "dangerous weapon offender" registry
In addition, the bill contains many mental health and school security provisions, including:
- Creating a task force to study mental health among Connecticut's young adults
- Allowing Boards of Educations to institute in-service mental health training
- Requiring schools to develop safety plans
- Establishing a council to develop safety standards for new school building projects
Editor's note: This article previously was published by Norwalk Patch.
- Rep. William Tong (D) YES
- Rep. Terrie Wood (R) YES
- Sen. Bob Duff (D) YES
- Sen. Carlo Leone (D) YES