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." 

Teresa Ginsberg December 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM
This is a start. We have to find out what legislators decided to not vote for the ban on high capacity magazines. What was their reasoning? What do they have to say for themselves now? Count me in on March 14th.
Robert S Wuensch December 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM
In an ideal world it would be that simple. It is not. Ct already has an assualt weapons ban, a ban on guns on school property, and by the way, it is against the law to kill people, regardless of their age. None of which stopped this unthinkable crime. But, when you disarm the honest public, all you do is give the murderers a longer window in which to commit these crimes. We already have effective gun laws, just enforce the laws we have. Why do you think the president, the govener, a lot of mayors, banks, and many other people and institutions have armed guards. Guns can protect people.
jack trifilo December 22, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I know its hard but don't buy into the notion that taking the assault weapon ban to the next level and only allowing one feature will stop evil people from doing evil things,nor will it make the guns any less lethal,A gun with out a "pistol grip" still shoots bullets"and limiting magazine counts to 10 will just outlaw loads of guns that can be easily obtained out of state by Evil people that don't care about laws. while on the other hand we "law abiding citizens "will be the only ones to bear the cross and deep burden and its not necessary as good laws can make a difference and at the same time work with for the gun community at the same time.the following are a couple of Ideas that may work for all. step one is to make ALL gun safes tax deductible for fiscal year 2013 and 2014 The more gun safes their are the less likely the wrong people will have access to them. Step two require all assault weapons as defined by the state of Conn. require a pistol permit with an added new endorsement this will cost $35 dollars doubling the price of the Pistol permit this endorsement will require a LEO to sign that you have a safe in your dwelling.This will keep guns locked up as they should be.Lets not follow other states in their failed attempt to curve violence through unreasonable gun laws. Lets lead the nation with a new fresh approach That is sure to have results because guns locked up cannot commit crime. .


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