Last April, following the senseless slaughter of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook, our state delegation took a courageous action. They voted “yes” in a bipartisan effort to strengthen Connecticut’s gun laws with common-sense measures that make our communities safer.
They faithfully represented the overwhelming majority of Connecticut voters who supported an expanded assault weapon ban, a ban on large-capacity magazines and permit requirements for ammunition purchases. They did this while respecting Second Amendment rights, as confirmed by a federal court decision upholding the constitutionality of the law.
Nonetheless, gun rights absolutists are holding a rally at the Capitol to protest the law. They are demanding that SB 1160, which they call “one of the most unconstitutional gun laws in the nation,” be enforced or repealed, warning that “state-provoked chaos and violence will be required to enforce the anti-gun laws.”
Rally organizer Connecticut Citizens Defense League is encouraging supporters to attend the rally carrying handguns while simultaneously calling it “family friendly.” The keynote speaker, David Codrea, who is widely published in national gun magazines, claims that gun violence prevention organizations “lack grassroots support.” But that’s simply not true.
Today the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence is joining a coalition of 20 gun violence prevention organizations from around the state for a press conference at the Capitol. We want legislators who voted for the reforms to know that thousands throughout Connecticut applaud their vote, and will stand by them.
By a margin of 57% to 39%, voters support the stricter gun regulations passed last year, as reported in a just-released Quinnipiac poll.
The opposition is motivated. The NRA’s Connecticut liaison is urging supporters to “get rid of the folks that were true enemies.” If you believe such measures as registering ultra-lethal weapons are reasonable, please call your state representative this Friday morning on the anniversary of the historic legislation to express your support.
We must reassure legislators that we are not going away and our numbers greatly surpass those of the opposition.
The author is a member of the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence.