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Connecticut House approves Lamont’s gun restriction bill

Jessica Hill

The Connecticut House has approved the state’s toughest gun restrictions since landmark gun laws were enacted following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 10 years ago.

It passed by a vote of 96 to 51.

The restrictions are in response to the recent epidemic of mass shootings across the country, even in Connecticut, said Representative Steven Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport), the House chair of the Judiciary Committee.

“We had a mass shooting about a month ago in Seaside Park in Bridgeport, where I will be with family this Memorial Day weekend,” Stafstrom said. “And gun violence remains a plague in so many of our cities, here in Hartford, Waterbury and New Haven. And there’s more we can, and we must do.”

The bill, which is sponsored by Democratic Governor Ned Lamont, tightens restrictions on assault weapons, raises the age to 21 for acquiring semi-automatic weapons and restricts who can acquire body armor.

It also limits the number of firearms that can be legally purchased in a month to three, and establishes a special Superior Court gun docket in the state’s largest cities.

Republicans who voted against the bill claim some of its provisions would unduly restrict the Second Amendment rights of legal gun owners.

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.