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Following Colorado Shooting, Blumenthal Renews Push For Federal Gun Control Legislation

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut)
Lauren Victoria Burke
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut)

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called on Congress to respond to the mass shootings in Colorado with stricter federal gun regulations.

Blumenthal said thoughts and prayers following mass shootings should be backed by action to try and save the 24,000 Americans killed by guns each year.

“There’s no mystery about what needs to be done. Connecticut has shown by some of the strongest gun laws in the country that they work. But Connecticut with those strong gun laws is at the mercy of states with the weakest laws because guns do not respect stats boundaries,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on proposals to reduce gun violence.

Connecticut passed strict gun control measures following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Blumenthal has yet to successfully convince enough of his colleagues to pass similar laws on the federal level.

Waterbury, Connecticut, Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said a federal background check for gun owners would help reduce gun violence by reducing the number of illegal guns available.

Spagnolo testified on Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on proposals to reduce gun violence, a day after mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado.

“Our police officers are taking an average of one to two guns a day, illegal guns a day, off the streets of Waterbury. Now, we're a community of about 115,000 people here in Connecticut. So I can only imagine what my colleagues face in larger urban areas across the country,” Spagnolo said.

Spagnolo said there was a 300% increase in weapons permits applied for in Waterbury last year. He suspects many were straw purchases.

The proposals include expanded federal background checks for gun purchases.

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.