Connecticut will soon pass the toughest gun control law in the country. The bill will add 100 firearms to the state's banned assault weapons list. If passed, the law will also create the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry and places eligibility rules on buying ammunition. The bill is a response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and is vehemently opposed by guns rights activists. Passage of the law will hopefully serve as a model for our nation's lawmakers and demonstrates the power of true bipartisanship.
The legislation does not end with gun control measures. It also increases safety standards in schools and expands mental health research in the state. The likely passage of the law has lead to an increase in gun sales as gun owners flock to stores to buy firearms and ammunition. Gun advocates are concerned that the bill goes too far in limiting their second amendment rights.
News of the Connecticut legislation comes amid renewed calls to pass tougher gun control measures. Former Arizona Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, wrote an op-ed in the Aurora Centennial earlier Wednesday morning. Giffords simply wrote of her support for enhanced background checks, something 90 percent of Americans support.
“Proposed background checks legislation creates a tool, not an obstacle, for gun owners to responsibly exercise their rights. As the owner of a firearm, I don’t want to transfer my gun to someone who would use it irresponsibly. But now, without a background check, it’s hard to tell if someone I want to sell my weapon to is dangerous or not. The last thing I want is to transfer a gun to someone who will do harm with it.”
Despite broad support for universal background checks, Congress has been unable to pass any legislation that requires them. Why can’t they pass any laws on something so many Americans—including most members of the National Rifle Association—support? One likely reason is that the lobbying arm of the NRA is so strong that legislators fear electoral retribution.
My feelings about this are best summed up below:
Whatever the reason, the only way any gun control measures will be passed is if the American people sustain pressure on their congressional representatives. For more information on sensible gun control measures, like background checks, check out Gabby and Mark Giffords website.