Colt Works Rally as Lawmakers Debate Gun Bills

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013  |  Updated 10:32 AM EDT
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OFFICIALS FROM THE CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE AND THE CONNECTICUT POLICE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION SPOKE TO THE PANEL ABOUT CURRENT GUN LAWS IN THE STATE

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While gun policy and gun control issues are always controversial, the debate has become increasingly heated since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and that has brought people on both sides to Hartford to ensure that lawmakers hear their thoughts.

The Public Safety and Security Committee is meeting in Hartford today to discuss several bills that will affect gun policy in the state.

Hundreds of Colt Manufacturing workers arrived at the Legislative Office Building carrying signs that read "Save Our Jobs."  They are there urging lawmakers to avoid passing laws that they said would affect hundreds of small businesses and families.

One bill on the agenda for Thursday is wide-sweeping legislation aimed at reducing gun violence and defines “assault weapon,” requires a rifle permit for the purchase of a long gun, requires registration of firearms, establishes a gun offender registry, regulates the sale of ammunition and eliminates the bulk purchase of firearms.

One bill would set the minimum age to buy a rifle or other long gun at 21.

Another would require criminal background checks for all private firearms sales.

One bill prohibits anyone from carrying a loaded firearm when under the influence with a blood alcohol level is .08 or higher.

Additional legislation affects permits required for gun shows.

One bill would restrict gun permits for people who have committed serious offenses, has been found not guilty of a crime due to mental disease or has been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons.

One would prohibit firing a gun within 500 feet of private residences without consent.

Another permits peace officers to have firearms on school grounds, even when they are off

Another bill up for debate today focuses on shootings in which there are several victims.

The legislation calls upon the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection to use the statewide police emergency radio network to notify all local police departments in the state of the incident and any information the commissioner deems appropriate to disseminate.

An additional bill would direct taxes from firearm manufacturers and firearm importers for the sale of each firearm manufactured in or imported into the state to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

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