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CT “Powerful Example” for Obama & Gun Laws

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Governor Malloy joins President Barack Obama at the University of Hartford, where the President will continue asking the American people to join him in calling on Congress to pass common-sense measures to reduce gun violence. Courtesy of the Governors office.
Governor Malloy joins President Barack Obama at the University of Hartford, where the President will continue asking the American people to join him in calling on Congress to pass common-sense measures to reduce gun violence. Courtesy of the Governors office.
April 8, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. - It was only days ago that Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed tough new gun-control measures into law, and today President Obama will be in Hartford to push for stricter measures nationwide.

According to League of Women Voters gun-law specialist Sue McCalley, firearms-buyer background checks now are universal in Connecticut, meaning they reach all points of sale: public, private and on the Internet. She declared that the Nutmeg State is a powerful example for Congress and the nation.

"When the president comes, I hope he takes back the message to Washington that there can be a bipartisan solution to the prevention of gun violence. Connecticut did it; we ought to be able to do this also."

McCalley noted that state gun-control measures passed by wide margins despite significant opposition from the National Rifle Association. Nationwide, however, the NRA appears to have the early lead in this fight. The Wall Street Journal says 10 states have reduced gun restrictions, while lawmakers only opted to make them tighter in five states.

McCalley said that guns can be easily transported from one state to the next, and that's one reason Congress needs to pass federal laws to back up the states.

"Universal background checks are certainly very important, and we hope that the assault-weapons ban and a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines might be able to be put into law through amendment."

McCalley says the "un-silent" majority of local citizens demanded change on this issue and lawmakers created a bipartisan task force to ensure that all sides got heard.

"Mainly because they have been able to come to consensus in a bipartisan way," she said. "Everyone felt that they had had a part in this legislation."

The Newtown Elementary School shootings often are cited as a major factor in the push for stricter gun laws in Connecticut.

McCalley said her group uses a consensus approach to discuss and come to action on difficult issues. She hope the U.S. Senate can do the same when it takes up gun measures later this month.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT