gun safety laws

Connecticut Senators Share Proposed Bipartisan Gun Safety Plan

Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, who have weighed in on weeks-long gun conversations in the Senate, reached an agreement with other senators on several issues pertaining to gun violence.

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Senators working on gun safety laws called it a major step forward in the nation's conversation on gun violence.

"We are in the process of being becoming unstuck on an issue that has weighed Congress down for 30 straight years," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).

After weeks of negotiations in the Senate, an agreement was reached across both sides of the aisle between 10 republicans and 10 democrats.

"We are confident that this agreement is not only going to save lives in the short run, but it's going to lead to more success for the gun violence movement in the long run," Murphy said.

The proposed bipartisan gun safety plan includes incentives for states to adopt Red Flag Laws, which help states take guns away from people deemed a threat.

Another aspect of the bill is closing the "boyfriend loophole" that allowed some domestic abusers to still buy guns, stricter background checks for buyers under 21 and more tools to prohibit gun trafficking.

"This is the first time nationally you've seen some kind of cooperative effort amongst legislators. You know, as a gun owner, we're always a little wary of where that's going to lead," said Kyle Overturf, general manager of Blue Trail Range in Wallingford.

Overturf said he understands these changes as long as they work to prevent violence, not take away the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

"At the same time, responsible gun owners want to see gun legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals," Overturf said.

Holly Sullivan is the president of Connecticut Citizens Defense League and has been a long-time advocate of stricter gun trafficking laws.

"But the reality is, here in the state of Connecticut, it wasn't funded for a very long time," Sullivan said.

But both on a state level and nationwide, lawmakers say the bill is designed to change that.

"That's why we're focusing on this issue of gun trafficking because that is primarily about the level of death and crisis in places like Hartford," Murphy said.

Activists on Monday also voiced awareness on gun violence statewide, especially as Hartford Police counted its 17th homicide this year on Sunday.

"Don't forget about the urban community in this movement. Too many Hartford's young Black and brown kids are being murdered every day," said Rev. Henry Brown.

Senators say the key to Red Flag laws is ensuring police and first responders know how to use them.

"Connecticut will receive millions of dollars to implement and enforce our Red Flag Law effectively. It was not implemented effectively in New York. That's why that Buffalo shooter got the gun," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

This bill is still in the process of being drafted, which Senators hope to pass by the end of next week.

"This bill doesn't do everything. This bill will not end the epidemic of gun violence overnight. But it is substantial, it is significant. It will save lives and it will provide us the momentum to make further changes," Murphy said.

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