Today we thank Governor Malloy for signing into law H.B. 5542, the bill to ban bump stocks in Connecticut. The Governor has been a committed leader for tough gun laws. We also extend our thanks to the 140 legislators who voted “yes” to help avoid the tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas. But it was your advocacy that made today’s victory possible; thank you for the concerted outreach to legislators and your presence at the capitol over the past four months.
While the bill passed on a bipartisan vote, your actions made that possible and it allowed us to stand firm as opponents attempted to weaken the ban. We didn’t let that happen, so as of October 1 anyone who owns a bump stock in Connecticut must destroy it, relinquish it to law enforcement or take it out of state. Connecticut’s ban covers any device intended to make semi-automatic firearms operate as machine guns, protecting us against future attempts to circumvent the National Firearms Act of 1934 that to this day tightly regulates ownership of machine guns.
Click to see the House and Senate tallies to see how your legislator voted. If you haven’t already done so, thank your legislators for voting yes or take them to task for opposing the ban. Click here to find your legislator.
With the help of legislative leadership we also defeated two bad bills: H.B. 5538 to issue lifetime ammunition permits and H.B. 5539 to allow firearms in state parks. Both bills were voted favorably out of committee on near-party line votes, but neither received floor votes in the House or Senate. It just goes to show that there is a dedicated, not insignificant, faction in the legislature favoring weaker gun laws.
Although we had the votes to pass H.B. 5540, the bill to regulate ghost guns, in the end the legislature ran out of time. Even when there is majority support, gun bills are controversial and the debates take a lot of floor time.
Our next opportunity to strengthen and protect common-sense gun regulation in Connecticut will be the election this fall. Every one of the 187 state House and Senate seats and all the statewide offices will be on the ballot. A strong turnout of gun violence prevention advocates on November 6 is essential to elect candidates who support our agenda.