DANBURY, Conn. – Gov. Dannel Malloy went to Danbury on Thursday to unveil a package of gun control measures that he will urge state legislators to approve.
The proposals focus on universal background checks, banning large-capacity magazines, strengthening the assault weapons ban, safer gun storage and stronger enforcement of existing laws.
Addressing a conference on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University, Malloy said: “Two months ago, our state became the center of a national debate after a tragedy we never imagined could happen here. The horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School brought home the fact that we are not immune to problems that face the nation at large, that we can never become complacent in our effort to ensure the safety of our residents.”
Malloy praised President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for their proposals aimed at reducing gun violence. “The proposals outlined by the White House will make us and our children safer, no doubt about it,” the governor said.
He acknowledged that the issue of gun violence is complicated and will require further study but noted there are “clear, common sense steps” that need to be taken in Connecticut. Malloy wants magazines to be limited to 10 rounds or less, background checks for all gun sales and a new definition for the term assault weapon to include any gun with at least one military characteristic.
Malloy also called on people to share some of the responsibility in preventing gun violence.
“Gun owners have a responsibility to store their weapons safely, and should be held accountable if a person is injured because of an improperly stored weapon,” he said. “The fact is that if you sell guns, or work at a gun range, and you see or know of illegal activity involving a firearm or banned magazine, you have a responsibility to tell someone in law enforcement.”
The package also addresses mental health issues and the role they play in gun violence. Malloy said mandatory reporting laws regarding mental health will be studied to determine whether additional gun storage requirements for the mentally ill should be made law.
“Shootings like this are becoming an all too common occurrence in our country,” Malloy said. “That must change. While the tragedy at Sandy Hook provided a devastating reminder of the need for more sensible policy, the problem of gun violence is not confined to one community.”