Democrats and Some Republicans Roll Out Gun Reform Priorities

Lawmakers are focused on banning the manufacture of homemade firearms, and new safe storage parameters.

Connecticut Democrats, with some support from Republicans, are looking to enact gun reforms that they were unable to pass last year.

In particular, they want to ban the manufacture of homemade firearms known as “3D” or “ghost guns.” They also want to mandate new safe storage parameters for firearms.

“This prevents children from getting access to handguns and it allows the owner to get quick access to it if they should need it,” said Jeremy Stein, the executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, as he displayed a lockbox.

Under the proposed legislation, a gun owner would be criminally liable if their weapon was not stored properly and led to someone being shot.

The legislation was crafted following the death of Ethan Song, a Guilford teenager who died when a gun he came across accidentally fired. The gun was not locked away.

Rep. Sean Scanlon, a Democrat who represents Guilford said of the bill, “If the gun is used in a crime, as it was in this case, then the police and the prosecutors would be able to charge that individual with a crime of improper storage.”

At least 10 Republicans are backing a measure that would ban the manufacture and use of ghost guns in Connecticut.

Rep. Gail LaVielle, (R – Wilton), says the wide support from so many Republicans is a response to last November’s election results, and what they heard from voters during the campaign.

“All of us who have introduced a ghost gun bill have heard loud and clear from our constituents that this is important to them,” she said following the press conference.

Democrats now control the Connecticut Senate, and they have wider numbers in the Connecticut House. Gun reforms are expected to be priorities for them, as Gov. Ned Lamont also campaigned on those issues.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League favors gun storage legislation, but is not supportive of the ghost gun proposal.

CCDL President Scott Wilson told NBC Connecticut in a statement, "It is legal under federal law for a person to build a firearm for personal use provided that the gun is kept for themselves. It is also important to note that it is 'illegal' under federal law for a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm (such as a felon) to build or even own a firearm. There is nothing in this proposal that would prevent a determined criminal from gaining access to an illegal gun."

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