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Lamont proposes more gun regulations

People examine rifles on display at the annual National Rifle Association convention in Nashville, Tenn., in April.
Mark Humphrey
/
AP
People examine rifles on display at the annual National Rifle Association convention in Nashville, Tenn., in April.

These are the second set of gun safety proposals announced by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont this week. He proposed to ban the open carrying of firearms in public, a limit to how many handgun purchases can be allowed in a month and updating the state’s ban on unregistered ghost guns.

Ten years ago, Connecticut enacted some of the toughest gun regulations in the country after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It is time to update those regulations and close loopholes, Lamont said, as he announced the proposals on Thursday.

“All we are doing is trying to modernize and prevent those folks that are trying to end-run all of our gun safety rules to make sure they are as effective today as they tried to make them 10, 20 years ago when they first passed,” he said.

Lamont’s proposals would close a loophole in the state’s assault weapons ban and require all such weapons be registered. The current law exempts weapons manufactured prior to 1994.

They would also increase the penalty for violating the state’s ban on large capacity magazines and increase the age of purchase for all weapons to 21.

“In Connecticut you can't buy cigarettes under the age of 21. You can't buy cannabis under the age of 21. But you can buy a long arm rifle? Seriously?” said Rep. Steven Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, co-chair of the Judiciary Committee.

Passing the proposals would be a priority for his committee this session. “It's time this changes and it's time this changes this year,” Stafstrom said.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.