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Connecticut News

Connecticut Lawmakers Back Stricter Gun Control Laws

Natalie Cioffari
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim speaks at a press conference at Bridgeport City Hall on Friday. Senator Richard Blumenthal, third from left, joined the Mayor, school officials, police and community activists in support of stronger gun control measures.

A coalition of lawmakers, including Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., gathered alongside community activists at Bridgeport City Hall on Friday to call for increased gun control measures, including legislation that would ban bump stocks and ghost guns in Connecticut. 

Blumenthal said Connecticut has already set the standard in gun laws for the nation. “More than 90 percent of the people want universal background checks like Connecticut has. We know more than 90 percent of the people want a ban on bump stocks and even a majority of gun owners want a ban on high capacity magazines and assault weapons."

Blumenthal said he’s noticed a change since the shooting in Parkland, Fla. He said he senses a readiness in Congress to do something on the federal level to stop gun violence epidemic.    

Jeremy Stein, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, spoke out against ghost guns. “It’s a gun that is unregistered. It’s unmarked. There’s no serial number on it, you can buy them online and you don’t need a background check to get these things.” 

Meanwhile, Mayor Ganim said he was outraged when he learned that Florida’s governor signed a bill to allow teachers to carry guns in schools. “We want to make our schools safe as we can. Like every community does, every parent, every teacher, every superintendent. We are our communities to be as safe as they can. And we certainly don’t want to see misguided legislation in response to emotion.”

Aresta Johnson, Bridgeport's school superintendent, said schools are safety nets for children and that introducing guns will generate fear and crush their sense of safety. “I am not in support of having weapons on our teachers. Their role is to educate, nurture, love and cultivate our students. Not to walk around with weapons on their person. I do not want that kind of culture and climate at Bridgeport public schools and I know we have not reached that point.”

President Donald Trump has supported the idea, and other state legislatures around the country are considering it to make schools safer following the Parkland shooting.