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Gun Control Advocates Celebrate Legislation and Support For Lawmakers Who Voted ‘Yes’

by Hugh McQuaid | Apr 3, 2014 12:40pm
(11) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Public Safety

Hugh McQuaid Photo

Ron Pinciaro

A coalition of gun control advocates on Thursday marked the anniversary of Connecticut’s sweeping 2013 firearm regulations and promised to support the re-election efforts of the public officials who helped to pass it.

During a state Capitol press conference Thursday, advocates commemorated the first anniversary of a law that has seen Connecticut ranked as having the second strictest gun laws in the nation. It was passed last year following the 2012 murders of 20 school children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Proponents praised the law as bipartisan and an appropriate response to the severity of the Newtown shooting. Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said his group has been raising money and plans to spend it this year on behalf of candidates who supported the bill.

“For their good work, many of our lawmakers have been severely attacked. But we’re here to pledge that we are with them,” Pinciaro said. “. . . The purpose will be to inform the public that important public safety reforms are being threatened because gun rights activists will not accept laws enacted by the will of the people and the constitutional process in Connecticut.”

The law has been deeply unpopular with the state’s gun rights groups, who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to challenge the constitutionality of the new restrictions in court. Second Amendment advocates also plan to mark the anniversary of the law on Saturday with a rally on the steps of the state Capitol.

Advocates on both sides of the issue claim that support for their causes have not dissipated in the year since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill into law. Both are launching social media campaigns and attempting to organize as the November election draws closer.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League contacted members in an email Thursday urging them to get involved and phone their lawmakers.

“Remind them that you are a voter, and this election you intend to vote [2nd Amendment]. After you get off the phone, I want you to follow up with emails. After you email, we want you to facebook and tweet them. We want you to be respectful, reasonable, and factual, but we want you to speak up!” the email read.

It’s unclear how big a role gun laws will play in the upcoming election cycle. During the Thursday press conference many supporters of the law rallied around the idea of preventing opponents from repealing it.

However, Senate President Donald Williams, who helped to pass the law, said he did not think a repeal of the law was very likely.

Hugh McQuaid Photo “Don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said, adding that polls suggest the legislation has overwhelming public support. “Those who oppose it may be loud, they may be vocal, but they are not the majority of people in the state of Connecticut, who support reasonable gun violence prevention legislation.”

Still, Williams said supporters should not take anything for granted. Malloy, on the other hand, said he thought a repeal of the law was “possible” and pointed to the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban. Some fear an influx of money from groups outside Connecticut being used to attack candidates who supported the legislation.

Christine Stuart photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

During the press conference, he seemed to invite an attack from the National Rifle Association.

“There are those who will say that this is not a gun problem but a mental health problem and today I want to challenge that. If it’s a mental health problem, NRA, why aren’t you advocating the [Affordable Care Act]?” he said. “. . . NRA, if you’re serious about making America safer, you would join Connecticut as we have had one of the most successful rollouts of the ACA.”

Pinciaro said he was concerned that “Ground Zero” in the national battle over gun control could be in Connecticut this year. He pointed to the successful effort last year in Colorado to recall two pro-gun control state senators. He said he expected national pro-gun control groups to come to the aid of state lawmakers if their re-election seemed in jeopardy.

Although the bill was passed with bipartisan support, it is unclear how bipartisan re-election aid from gun control groups will be this year. All the lawmakers standing at the press conference on Thursday were Democrats, and when asked, Pinciaro said he would support Malloy over Sen. John McKinney, a Republican leader who helped negotiate and pass the bill.

“We would not work against any Republican who voted ‘yes’ for it,” he said, when asked. “We haven’t decided exactly what campaigns we’re going to support yet, we’re still doing our research.”

Asked if he was aware of any Republicans who supported the bill being targeted by primary opponents, Pinciaro said, “not specifically, to the degree I would call ‘targeting’ yet.”

Williams cautioned not to read too far into the absence of Republicans at the press conference.

“This is not necessarily as much in the comfort zone of Republican legislators as it is for Democrats,” he said.

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(11) Comments

posted by: Greg | April 3, 2014  1:41pm

The supporters of the law—as noted above—have yet to demonstrate with clarity the threat to public safety each of the following:
- a bayonet lug
- a “flash hider”
- a pistol grip
- a folding stock
- a forward grip

Nor have said supporters of the law explained how a “detachable grenade/flare launcher” has ever been a problem nationwide, or even explained to the people how a normal citizen can possibly even own such an implement.  Thus, the legislation bans something that doesn’t even exist for civillian use. 

And our legislators and governor have STILL not yet explained why this bill was passed via E-Cert in the middle of the night, and not debated via the normal legislative process.

So yea, no wonder there’s opposition to the law.

posted by: 1stfreedom | April 3, 2014  3:23pm

What this all comes down to is that every law-abiding citizen should get a permit to carry, Then get a weapon of your choice, Then get training in the use of your weapon, Say like a .9mm, .38, .44, or a 357 Magnum to name a few. So that way you can protect yourself and your family from harm. Because you never know when or where a Psychopathic, Delusional, Dysfunctional person will show up. Protect The Second Amendment, Stand Your Ground, Join the NRA.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 3, 2014  3:23pm

All they want is scary black guns that they don’t understand to not be for sale and worst than that, they want to make it so little boys get in big trouble for playing with toy guns or heaven forbid point a finger at another person.

That’s the real sickness in this group. Demand that they give yes or no answers to the following questions.

1) should a child get in trouble for playing with what anyone can see is a toy gun?

2) should a child get in trouble for pointing their finger at another child?

They wont answer or they will hem and haw and talk about how its not appropriate and “what if” situations?

The ones that will answer NO immediately to each question are the ones that you can sit across the table from and come up with reasonable measures around guns that won’t outrage people, or make law abiding people less safe.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | April 3, 2014  5:59pm

I do appreciate the Malloy administration continuing to keep this on the front burner in an election year. There were a large number of democrats who own guns that voted for the socialist. I would say the polling is not faring too well for ol’ Dannel. Keep it up gov! Semper Fi!

posted by: Fisherman | April 3, 2014  8:59pm

If they voted FOR it, they’ll be unemployed come November.

posted by: dano860 | April 3, 2014  9:08pm

Whats to celebrate? The disregard and destruction of our constitution!

posted by: justsayin | April 4, 2014  10:13am

These are the same folks who voted to reduce the drug free zones around schools. So law abiding gun owners constrained, drug sellers more freedom. This is who they are. Vote em out, for the kids…

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 4, 2014  11:09am

Did you guys see the AR15 designed specifically to get around the NY laws?

I hope they do something for CT.

These legislators really messed up. They could have gone with no bans, no registration of banned guns, and things like long gun permits and ammo permits and people would be upset, but it wouldn’t have an impact like this has and will.

Williams knew he was toast this year, so comes up with a phony excuse not to run again.

See you all at the rally tomorrow!

posted by: Greg | April 5, 2014  9:58am

JBJ- from what i’ve read the makers of the new NY-compliant AR stocks have asked the CT State Police for an opinion wether they are not a “pistol grip”, hence we may see them retail here soon.

So goes the stupidity of the “feature test” which cannot be explained by supporters in terms of public safety.  Swap a “flash hider” for a muzzle brake and there ya go.

posted by: shinningstars122 | April 6, 2014  9:25am

shinningstars122

Its amusing how many of you CCDL members claim to be “Constitutionalist” and clamor to all lengths about your loss of your ” God giving” rights.

You have not lost your firearms with this law. 50,000 people have registered there ” assault” style weapons in our state.

If you had to make modifications to a assault rifle is that unreasonable?

I mean having a 15 shot instead of 30 round bullet cartridge is a great “injustice”?

In all your posts about this debate none of you have a offered a solution(s) for the epidemic of gun violence in our country.

The NRA would never allow it.

A majority of you are all on the ” metal health” band wagon narrative as well.

You can thank Wayne LaPierre for those talking points.

Yes it’s only when those “Psychopathic, Delusional, Dysfunctional person will show up.” that is basis for all your reasoning.

Tell that to the 13,000 murdered victims of gun violence in 2013.

If you are worried about the threats to our Constitution, and I am with you on this, chose to see the real threats. Special interests and SuperPac money is taking over our democracy.

This gun debate is simply a distraction and sadly many of you are buying into it hook, line , and sinker.

But honestly that is what they want you to do.
“Carry On!”

posted by: SOG74 | April 6, 2014  5:17pm

Please put a list of all the pols who voted “Yes” for the Gun Control Act so those of us who don’t have that list can constantly remind CT citizens and gun owners of exactly who these people are and what they think of both the US and CT constitutions.

I will gladly send e-mails (I don’t tweet, facebook or other) to these pols and all my gun owning and gun loving and freedom loving friends to remind them of past political misdeeds.