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Blumenthal looks to use Connecticut as model for federal gun violence prevention

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Molly Ingram
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wants Connecticut to be a national example for gun violence prevention.

He hosted a panel of gun violence prevention experts and activists on Thursday to discuss the laws and programs that are benefitting the state.

“Crisis intervention is perhaps one of the most important and effective ways to stop gun violence,” Blumenthal said. “And in Connecticut, you are doing it. I want to know more about how our legislation can perhaps make that kind of a difference, and replicate nationally what we're doing in Connecticut.”

Blumenthal said recent mass shootings have renewed the call for bipartisan support for stricter federal gun laws.

He said lawmakers who have historically voted against gun control are coming around to the ideas that Connecticut has instituted.

“There are measures that are doable that law abiding gun owners support overwhelmingly, such as Ethan's Law and safe storage, like we have here in Connecticut,” Blumenthal said. “A Gun Violence Prevention Office in the Department of Justice, we just introduced legislation on it. These measures are within reach.”

Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), with support from Florida senators, recently introduced legislation to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the Department of Justice.

Johanna Schubert from Connecticut Hospital Violence Intervention Program said a federal program would be beneficial.

“It would allow for putting some guardrails up so that we all know what kind of systems we're operating within and change things not just from the bottom up as we take care of our community, but from the top down as well,” Schubert said.

Connecticut’s Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention was established last year.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.