Governor Proposes Ban on Bump Stocks in Connecticut

Gov. Dannel Malloy is proposing legislation to ban the purchase and sale of “rate of fire enhancements,” including bump stocks, binary trigger systems and trigger cranks.

Bump stocks have been part of the national conversation on gun control since the mass shooting in Las Vegas, when a gunman opened fire from a hotel room high above a country music concert, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Authorities said the shooter in Las Vegas had bump stocks on several guns. The devices allow guns to fire at a rapid rate, similar to an automatic weapon.

“Bump stocks are cheap, they are deadly, and they have no place in our society,” Malloy said in a statement. “In Connecticut, we refuse to allow federal inaction to endanger the lives of our residents, despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from the NRA. Our state has long been a champion in the fight against gun violence, and today we take a step towards further cementing our reputation as a leader in smart, safe, and commonsense gun reform.”

The governor’s proposal would make the possession and sale of rate of fire enhancements a Class D felony.

His office said permit holders who possess fire rate enhancements prior to July 1, 2020 would receive an infraction and be fined $90 for their first offense and would be charged with a Class D felony for any subsequent offense.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League released a statement, saying "Connecticut already has a very punitive ban on the same types of firearms that were used in the Las Vegas mas murder. as well as a magazine capacity limitation to 10 rounds or less." 

"This fact already renders devices such as bumpstocks mostly ineffective," CCDL President Scott Wilson said in a statement. 

“While these devices are not commonly owned by the vast majority of legal gun owners, we need to see the language of any bill that comes out to see if there are other ways legal gun owners might be impacted,” Wilson wrote.

In November, Massachusetts became the first state to ban bump stocks following the Las Vegas shooting.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy in October joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in introducing the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, which they said closes a loophole that allows semi-automatic weapons to be easily modified to fire at the rate of automatic weapons, which have been illegal for more than 30 years. 

"These carnage force multipliers must be banned in Connecticut and nationwide. Connecticut is once again poised to lead the nation in the face of Congressional failure-- a chance to prove again to the nation that it is possible to pass commonsense, serious solutions to protect our communities from the scourge of gun violence. But gun violence does not stop at the state line, and states like Connecticut with strong laws will remain vulnerable until Congress acts. I will not give up the fight,” Blumenthal said in a statement. 

The state of Connecticut enacted some of the strictest gun control laws in the country after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where 20 students and six staff members were killed. 

“Automatic weapons are outlawed for a reason, and bump stocks are a backdoor way to make dangerous guns even worse. I’m glad Connecticut is leading the nation on commonsense gun reforms. Congress needs to follow our lead and make sure no one in the country can buy these devices,” Murphy said in a statement.

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