CT Governor Lamont Proposes Open Carry Ban, Other Gun Restrictions

CT Governor Lamont Proposes Open Carry Ban, Other Gun Restrictions

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on Monday announced a series of proposed gun laws in a state already considered one of the toughest on gun ownership, including a carry ban open pits across the state that are expected to draw strong opposition from gun rights supporters.

Lamont revealed his latest plans to address gun violence at a press conference in Waterbury with other Democrats, including Attorney General William Tong and the mayors of the state’s largest cities, as well as officials from enforcement of state and local laws.

Lamont and other officials said the legislation, which also includes new registration requirements for ghost weapons and monthly limits on handgun purchases, is needed to help curb rising gun violence. and to crack down on illegal firearms statewide. Hartford, for example, recorded 39 murders in 2022, the most in two decades.

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“That feeling of anxiety and fear that a lot of people have – it doesn’t do us any good to say we’re in one of the safest states in the country…and people don’t feel safe” , Lamont said. “Over these last difficult years, shootings are on the rise. They’re on the rise across the country. They’re on the rise in our state.”

Lamont and others at the press conference also spoke about Saturday night’s shooting that killed 10 people at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club, expressing their dismay and talking about the need to increased gun control.

The governor’s proposals include a ban on the carrying of currently legal firearms, while still allowing concealed carry; limit handgun purchases to one per month to discourage bulk purchases and illegal sales; and spending an additional $2.5 million on community-based anti-violence programs.

Lamont also wants to update the state’s ban on unregistered ghost guns, which are firearms assembled from kits and don’t have serial numbers, making them difficult to trace. He said a loophole in the current ban made it difficult to enforce.



Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s gun policy proposal includes an open carry ban and new registration requirements.
(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

A 2019 state law requires ghost guns to be registered with the state, but only those assembled after the law takes effect. Police say it’s difficult to determine whether a ghost weapon was made before or after the law. The bill would require all ghost guns, including those assembled before the law, to be registered.

The governor, however, did not include in his proposals a plan he talked about during his re-election campaign last year – eliminating an exception to bans on certain semi-automatic rifles that allows people who possessed such weapons to fire before the entry into force of the bans on keeping them. .

Republicans in the Democratic-controlled Legislature issued statements criticizing the governor’s proposals as focusing too much on law-abiding citizens and not enough on law-abiding criminals.

“Today, the Governor and Democrats charted a familiar course toward ‘everyone’s problem’ by offering proposals that will once again allow law-abiding gun owners to haul the bulk of the cargo” said House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora. “Their press conference lacked any discussion of focusing on the people who are solely responsible for the chaos in our communities.”

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Republican Rep. Craig Fishbein, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, added, “If passed, these new proposals will do more to harass and impede law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights, and little to curb the increase in violent crime sweeping our state.”

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a prominent gun rights group, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Connecticut, according to state officials and experts, has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, many of which were passed in the months following the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. in 2012 which killed 20 children and six educators. The state, for example, bans many semi-automatic rifles and prohibits magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

More recent mass shootings, including in Uvalde, Texas, last year have sparked renewed calls for increased gun control in many states.

Gun rights groups, including the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, are currently suing the state in federal court to overturn the ban on what they call “modern sporting weapons.” such as AR-15 style rifles like those used at Sandy Hook School in Newtown and many other mass shootings.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, a Democrat and the city’s former police chief, said fear and anxiety over violent crime was the highest he had seen in his four decades in office. public service.

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“The number one issue for urban mayors is guns and gun violence, mental health. It’s all connected,” he said at Monday’s press conference. “And the sadness that’s in everyone’s hearts about what happened in California last night is just another example of why we’re all here in this room.”