Connecticut Senate Passes 3 Gun Control Measures

Three gun control bills, two involving the storage of firearms and one concerning the manufacture of guns without serial numbers, passed in the Connecticut Senate Thursday.

The bill known as "Ethan's Law" cleared the Senate on a 34 to 2 vote Thursday afternoon.

Ethan’s Law is in response to the death of 15-year-old Ethan Song, who shot himself with a handgun owned by a friend's father in January 2018.

The law requires both loaded and unloaded firearms to be safely stored in homes where there are minors under age 18. 

“Hopefully no one will ever have to walk the journey that my family has because it absolutely shatters, shatters you,” Ethan’s mother Kristin Song said.

“I would love to see my daughter grow up in a world where her kids are much less likely to be involved in an incident with an unsecured gun,” Ethan’s father, Michael Song, added.

The bill, which saw bipartisan support, also requires the State Board of Education to develop a firearms safety guide for students in kindergarten through grade 12 for school districts to use, if they choose.

“We were pleased that the gun control side acquiesced and allowed the education component to be there,” said Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League President Scott Wilson.

Wilson said he was not surprised the three laws passed Thursday, but he had concerns about the direction things were going.

“Obviously we do feel there is still too much gun control being passed, ultimately we don't think we're going down the right road on a lot of it,” he said.

Another bill, House Bill 7223, also concerns gun storage. It prohibits storing a pistol in an unattended vehicle unless that pistol is in the truck, a locked glove box, or a locked safe.

It passed with a 20 to 15 vote and comes as many cities are seeing an increase in gun thefts from cars.

Ray Bevis, legislative coordinator for the Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League, spoke out against the measure.

“It's definitely an infringement on the Second Amendment. So it's ultimately going to penalize and criminalize the firearms owners if they leave their firearms in their vehicle unattended,” he said.

Lawmakers also approved House Bill 7219, a bill that will prohibit the manufacturing of so-called “ghost guns” – guns created without serial numbers. With the widespread use of 3D-printers, it’s become easier to create such weapons. It passed on a 28 to 7 vote.

The bill prohibits manufacturing of firearms without a serial number, manufacturing of plastic guns that can pass through security measures, or possessing, receiving or transferring an unfinished firearm frame or lower receiver without a serial number.

“This is a scary thing,” said Sen. Christine Cohen (D- Guilford). "Guns without serial numbers, no tracking mechanisms, people are ordering these things offline, assembling them at home.”

Wilson argued that the law was excessive.

“There's already laws against individuals from possessing firearms who should not have them therefore the laws in our books I would subscribe are perfect and working fine,” he said.

The law does make exceptions for guns created by federally licensed manufacturers, antique firearms and legally-produced weapons made before October 1, 2019.

All three bills now head to the governor's desk.

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